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

Aug 27, 2011, 14:30 ET from Foresters

Child-Designed Playground will Eventually Serve 30,000 Children and their Families

DETROIT, Aug. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Children in Detroit 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, Osborn Neighborhood Alliance, Matrix Human Services and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve 30,000 children and their families in the local 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 Detroit," 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 Beland/Maning Park 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 Beland/Maning Park will provide 30,000 children and their families in the local 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, Osborn Neighborhood Alliance, Matrix Human Services and the surrounding community. In addition, children and families spent the day playing games and participating in arts and crafts activities.

"The Osborn community is an engaged community that's striving to improve the outcomes for youth to be safe, healthy, educated and prepared for adulthood.," said Quincy Jones, Osborn Neighborhood Alliance Executive Director. "We want give a big thank you  to Foresters and KaBOOM! for making Beland/Manning park an active park for the community."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, Osborn Neighborhood Alliance, Matrix Human Services and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 4,225 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a Glide Slide, Inclined Cliff Hanger and Rockblocks Climbing Wall.

About Osborn Neighborhood Alliance
The Osborn Neighborhood Alliance (ONA) Governance Board functions as an independent body that empowers families to have all the resources and support necessary to make their children successful. This is done by creating a format for communication and cooperation between parents, residents, community leaders, business, clergy, law enforcement and school staff in the Osborn Community. ONA has 28 members on the governance board and four working committees: Education, Finance, Human Services, and Communications.

About Matrix Human Services
Matrix Human Services, located in Detroit, is a private, nonprofit, tax-exempt, 501(c)3, social service organization offering a range of programs devoted to maintaining and supporting the family unit and improving the quality of life for individuals of all ages. Matrix believes strongly in offering positive life experiences, assistance with basic needs, education and supportive services which defuse crisis, treat individual and family problems and prevent abuse, neglect or criminal activities. Services are designed to empower families and individuals to achieve self sufficiency. Its vision is as a a proven leader in uniting all human service efforts to move individuals and families toward self-sufficiency in our time with your help… eradicating poverty of the mind, body and spirit. For more information, visit www.matrixhumanservices.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.
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!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

SOURCE Foresters