Nathan's Famous and KaBOOM! Tell Kids and Community: Ready. Set. PLAY.

Coney Island-Themed Event Launches Program Celebrating Active Play

Select Students to Win Tickets to May 17 St. Louis Cardinals Game

May 14, 2014, 16:37 ET from Nathan’s Famous

LISLE, Ill., May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Nathan's Famous and KaBOOM! brought a little piece of Coney Island Tuesday to the students of Keysor Elementary School and the surrounding Kirkwood community, a suburb of St. Louis. The world famous hot dog company and national non-profit honored the school with a night of carnival-like fun to launch Ready. Set. PLAY., a program that celebrates active play and the organizations that facilitate it for children.

Keysor Elementary was chosen after recently overhauling its playground and other outdoor space to better promote physical activity and inclusive play for children. The reconstruction project, dubbed "Project IDEA" by the school, was completed in 2013 with the support of a grant awarded by KaBOOM!. 

Tuesday's event in the school's gymnasium treated the school and its neighbors to the taste of Nathan's Famous Premium Beef Franks as well as some authentic Coney Island fun with interactive games and activities such as a Zoltar® Fortune Teller machine, mechanical pony ride, claw game with giveaways, and a photo booth.

The event was the first event for Ready. Set. PLAY. which was created by Nathan's Famous and KaBOOM! to celebrate play and the "playmakers" who are making play possible in communities around the country. The program will stage similar events in other locations, encouraging activities that promote active play as a part of healthy development of children.

"We are really proud of our partnership with KaBOOM! and to have the opportunity to create a program like Ready. Set. PLAY." said Mike Paribello, senior director of marketing for the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods and licensing partner of Nathan's Famous. "We believe active play is important for children and their development and we hope that the interactive games and activities that are a part of the Nathan's Famous mobile tour provide a fun way to play and be active."

"The fundamentals of healthy, active lifestyles begin at home with our parents and in our communities," said KaBOOM! CEO and founder Darell Hammond. "With support from Nathan's Famous through Ready. Set. PLAY., we are able to bring play opportunities to communities across the nation and inspire families to participate and incorporate play with their everyday lives." 

There was a little work involved though for the students leading up to this event. For two weeks, students participated in a play journal assignment where they kept track of their play experiences. Additionally, they were invited to create a Public Service Announcement about the importance of play. Five students were chosen from their submissions and awarded tickets to Saturday's St. Louis Cardinals game and one of the five winners won the chance to go on the field during opening ceremonies of the game.

"We are honored to host this community event with KaBOOM! and Nathan's Famous," said Dr. Bryan Painter, principal, Keysor Elementary School. "We know that play is integral to learning, and their Ready. Set. PLAY. initiative aligns perfectly with Keysor's commitment to fostering creativity and playful, innovative thinking in our students."

For more information, please visit Nathan's Famous and KaBOOM! online.

About Nathan's
Nathan's is a Russell 2000 Company that currently distributes its products in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Cayman Islands and nine foreign countries through its restaurant system, foodservice sales programs and product licensing activities. The Nathan's restaurant system currently consists of 313 units, comprised of 308 franchised units and five company-owned units (including one seasonal unit). For additional information about Nathan's please visit our website at

About John Morrell Food Group
With over a century and a half of experience, John Morrell Food Group brands have become respected and well known for providing premium-quality meat products to families across the United States. With products ranging from lunchmeat and franks to smoked sausage, bacon and pepperoni, the John Morrell Food Group is an important part of consumers' mealtimes. The John Morrell Food Group offers several national and regional brands including Armour®, Eckrich®, John Morrell®, Curly's®, Patrick Cudahy®, Carando®, Healthy Ones®, Margherita® Kretschmar® and LunchMakers®.

About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $13 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Farmland®, Armour®, Cook's®, Gwaltney®, John Morrell®, Kretschmar®, Curly's®, Carando®, Margherita®, and Healthy Ones®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental, and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit and

About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to the bold new goal of ensuring that all children, particularly the 16 million American children living in poverty, get the balance of active  play they need to become healthy and successful adults. KaBOOM! has been a powerful champion for play since its founding in 1996, working with partners to build, improve and open more than 15,000 playgrounds, engage more than 1,000,000 volunteers and serve  more than 6,600,000 children. KaBOOM! creates and catalyzes great places to play, inspires, empowers and leads play advocates, and educates and elevates the societal conversation about the importance of play in children's lives. For more information, visit or follow the conversation on why #playmatters at or

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SOURCE Nathan’s Famous