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

Playground will enhance family and community well-being

SURREY, BC, July 12, 2014 /CNW/ - The Surrey community was revitalized today thanks to a new playground built at Hjorth Road Elementary School. In less than eight hours, more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, the Surrey School District, and organizers from non-profit KaBOOM! created the new play space, which will serve more than 28,500 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 Kasia Czarski, senior vice president, chief membership and marketing officer, Foresters. "Playgrounds are important to communities, providing an open space where families spend quality time together and 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 Surrey 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.

"Students that are healthy, active and engaged are better prepared to be successful in their education," says Surrey Board of Education vice-chairperson Laurie Larson. "Our board is grateful for the assistance of KaBOOM! and Foresters for sharing in our commitment to the well-being of children, as well as the well-being of our communities."

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.

About Surrey School District
The Surrey School District was formed in 1906. It has the largest student enrolment in British Columbia. Our comprehensive and diverse programs and services support the learning needs of individual students. We engage our students in developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to build a healthy, democratic and diverse society. For more information, visit www.surreyschools.ca.

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:

Surrey School District: Doug Strachan, 778-772-5032, strachan_d@surreyschools.ca
Foresters: Maria Ganogiannis, 800-461-8431, ext. 4096, mganogiannis@foresters.com
KaBOOM!: Bruno Tager, 301-919-4482, btaqer@kaboom.org