Foresters, KaBOOM! and volunteers bring families together with new playground in Hamilton

Playground will enhance family and community well-being

HAMILTON, ON, July 12, 2014 /CNW/ - The Hamilton community was revitalized today thanks to a new playground built at 10 St. Andrews. In less than eight hours, more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, CityHousing Hamilton (CHH), and organizers from non-profit KaBOOM! created the new play space, which will serve more than 19,000 children and their families in the local community for years to come.

"A community's well-being starts with a child's well-being," said Sharon Giffen, President, Foresters Canada and President Chief Operating Officer, Foresters Life Insurance Company. "Playgrounds are important to communities, providing an open space where children can play safely. We believe that an investment in a playground is an investment in family well-being, and we are happy to provide the Hamilton community with a place that families can enjoy for years to come."

The design for the new playground is based on drawings created by neighborhood children at a special Design Day event held in May when community members met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Foresters to design their dream playground. The drawings inspired the final playground design.

Since 2006, Foresters has invested over $10 million with KaBOOM! to build almost 120 playgrounds across the US and Canada by the end of 2015. Over their 15 year lifespan, these playgrounds will provide more than 3 million children and their families with an opportunity to spend quality time together and enhance family well-being.

"CityHousing Hamilton recognizes the benefit of actively and meaningfully involving tenants in the work of planning, building, and maintaining the communities in which they live" said Matt Bowen, Manager, Tenant Engagement and Support Services, CityHousing Hamilton.  "With nearly 45% of our population being children, there is a benefit to keeping them active. Kids who play regularly develop stronger social skills, perform better in school, and decrease their chances of illnesses associated with an inactive lifestyle. They also take a greater pride in where they live. This playground will not only enhance the lives of children and the community, but the city at large".

Another way Foresters advocates for family well-being is through its Tech Timeout™ challenge, which encourages families to take a pledge to turn off all electronic devices for an hour a day for one week and spend quality time together.  For more details, visit techtimeout.com.

Foresters is a founding member of the KaBOOM! Leadership Circle - a group of organizations providing long-term guidance and support to KaBOOM! and its mission. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to the bold goal of ensuring that all children get the balance of active play they need to become healthy and successful adults because #playmatters.

CityHousing Hamilton
CityHousing Hamilton (CHH) is the third largest municipal housing provider in the province of Ontario. CHH manages over 7,000 units at more than 1200 properties. We have nearly 13,000 residents that speak more than 30 languages.  45% of our residential population is children. We provide affordable housing that is safe, well maintained, cost-effective and that supports the diverse needs of our many communities. Through tenant engagement, CHH aims to continually improve our communities with the goal to make them the best place to live in Hamilton.

About Foresters
For 140 years, Foresters™, an international financial services provider, has fulfilled its purpose to enhance family well-being for its members and the communities where they live.  A fraternal benefit society, Foresters offers quality life insurance and investment products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with more than one million members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit foresters.com, and techtimeout.com.

Foresters™ is the trade name and a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, 789 Don Mills Road, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9; its subsidiaries are licensed to use this mark.

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 balanced and active play they need to thrive. 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 kaboom.org/act or follow the conversation on why #playmatters at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.

SOURCE Foresters

For further information:


CityHousing Hamilton: Mathew Bowen, (905) 523 - 8496 ext. 7317, mathew.bowen@hamilton.ca
Foresters: Maria Ganogiannis, 800-461-8431, ext. 4096, mganogiannis@foresters.com
KaBOOM!: Bruno Tager, 301-919-4482, btaqer@kaboom.org