Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Encourage Quality Family Time By Building New Playground for Charlotte Children

Oct 08, 2011, 14:30 ET from Foresters

Child-Designed Playground will Eventually Serve 25,000 Children and their Families

CHARLOTTE, NC, Oct. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Children in Charlotte received a brand new playground today thanks to the effort of more than 200 volunteers from Foresters™ , a life insurance provider committed to the well-being of families, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve more than 25,000 children and their families in the Charlotte community for years to come. Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in August when local children and community leaders met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Foresters to design their dream playground. The children's drawings were then used to create the final playground design.

"Foresters shares its financial strength with its members and communities where they live, such as Charlotte," said Bruce Burak, Foresters National Sales Manager. "Playgrounds are an ideal place for families to get to know other families and build strong communities. This new playground at the Johnston YMCA will provide opportunities for families to spend quality time together for years to come."

Since 2006, Foresters has invested over $7 million with KaBOOM! and built or planned almost 100 playgrounds across the U.S. and Canada. Over their 15 year lifespan, these playgrounds will provide more than 2.6 million children and their families with the opportunity to spend quality time together. Foresters is a KaBOOM! National Partner and a founding member of the KaBOOM! Leadership Circle - a group of organizations providing long-term guidance and support to KaBOOM! and its mission.

The playground at the Johnston YMCA will provide more than 25,000 children and their families in the Charlotte community with a great place to play and engage in healthy family time. In less than eight hours, the child-designed playground was built from scratch by hundreds of volunteers from Foresters, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte and the surrounding community. In addition, children and families spent the day playing games and participating in arts and crafts activities.

"When families play together, they build strong bodies and stronger bonds," says Johnston YMCA Executive Director Jenny Sigmon. "We are incredibly grateful to Foresters and KaBOOM! for partnering with us to make dreams come true for thousands of children in our community."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,448 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a 90-degree Glide Slide, an Inclined Cliff Hanger and a Slither Slide.

About YMCA of Greater Charlotte
The Y is one of the nation's leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of Greater Charlotte, comprised of 19 Y branches and two resident camps, engages approximately 270,000 men, women and children - regardless of age, income or background - to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation's health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Deeply rooted in the community for 137 years, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymcacharlotte.org

About Foresters
Founded in 1874 as a fraternal benefit society, Foresters™ champions the well-being of families through quality life insurance, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with more than 835,000 members in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Unity Life of Canada¹, a wholly owned subsidiary of Foresters, represents Foresters in Canada. For more information, please visit www.foresters.com.

Foresters™ is a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9.

About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. To fight this Play Deficit, social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! 15 years ago in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 85,000 places to play, built more than 2,000 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

SOURCE Foresters