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

Aug 20, 2011, 14:30 ET from Foresters

Child-Designed Playground will Eventually Serve 22,500 Children and their Families

CINCINNATI, Aug. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Children in Cincinnati received a brand new playground today thanks to the effort of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, a life insurance provider committed to the well-being of families, the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati and non-profit KaBOOM!  The new playground will serve 22,500 children and their families in the Cincinnati community for years to come.  Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in June 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 Cincinnati," said Kasia Czarski, Foresters Chief Membership and Marketing Officer. "Playgrounds are an ideal place for families to get to know other families and build strong communities. This new playground at the Clippard Family 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 Clippard Family YMCA will provide 22,500 children and their families in the Cincinnati 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 Cincinnati and the surrounding community. In addition, children and families spent the day playing games and participating in arts and crafts activities.

"At the YMCA we know that play is such an important part of a child's mental, physical and social development," said Sandy Berlin Walker, YMCA of Greater Cincinnati President and CEO. "It is wonderful to partner with organizations like KaBOOM! and Foresters who share in our vision of wanting to nurture the potential for kids to grow and learn by having fun. We are so grateful to them, the many volunteers who helped us build our playground, and the many donors who have supported this effort which will benefit the whole community."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,600 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a Horizontal Loop Ladder, a Swing Set and a Zigzag Slide.

About the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati
The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati is one of the area's largest nonprofits focused on engaging individuals and families in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. This year more than 125,000 people will come to the YMCA to learn, grow and thrive. Adult role models nurture positive values and life lessons in children through sports, summer camps, structured child and afterschool care, and leadership building programs. Branches offer quality time for families to be together, resources for parents, and a variety of opportunities for seniors to be active. The YMCA ensures these opportunities are available to everyone no matter their ability to pay with generous support from community partners and donors.

About Foresters
Founded in 1874 as a fraternal benefit society, ForestersTM 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.

ForestersTM is a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9.
¹Unity Life of Canada, a Foresters company, is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Independent Order of Foresters.

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!. In addition to building playgrounds, KaBOOM! National Partners, such as ForestersTM support KaBOOM! national programs, which have a nation-wide impact on the health and well-being of children and communities. KaBOOM! national programs spread the message that play is critical to the development of children and create solutions to address the play deficit that currently exists in thousands of communities nationwide. ForestersTM is also a member of the KaBOOM! Leadership Circle, whose members provide long-term guidance and support for the organization and our mission. To learn more how KaBOOM! and our partners are fighting the play deficit, go to www.kaboom.org.

SOURCE Foresters