Foresters, KaBOOM! and volunteers bring families together with new playground at McGregor Park

Playground will enhance family and community well-being

SCARBOROUGH, ON, Aug. 9, 2014 /CNW/ - The Scarborough community was revitalized today thanks to a new playground built at McGregor Park. In less than eight hours, more than 200 volunteers from Foresters™, the City of Toronto, Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA), and non-profit KaBOOM! created the new play space, which will serve more than 27,800 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 Tony Garcia, President and CEO, Foresters. "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 Scarborough 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, an international financial services provider, 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.

"Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation is committed to providing healthy, fun and safe play spaces for kids to be kids," said Janie Romoff, Acting General Manager. "We are thrilled to have the support and enthusiasm of wonderful partners and the local community for this great project in McGregor Park."

"Working together with residents in communities to make long term impact is what we strive to do at Agincourt Community Services Association," said Lee Soda, Executive Director. "The creation of a playground that has the imprint of the children and families that will spend time there speaks to the essence of true community engagement."

Green spaces and safe play structures where children and families can enjoy and spend time together are sparse in many high density communities. Playing outdoors is an important part of every child's healthy development and the creation of this new playground will allow thousands of children to play safely and be active in their community.

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 the City of Toronto
Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

About Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA)
Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA) is a non-profit, multi-service agency at the heart of Agincourt addressing needs and empowering children, youth, newcomers, homeless and underserved communities to build a better tomorrow. Operating since 1974, ACSA provides a broad range of programs and services to the local community and greater Scarborough area. ACSA celebrates 40 years in the community with an emphasis on providing people a hand up versus a hand out. Our services include community supports, youth programs, homeless services, food bank and food security initiatives, newcomer and settlement services, child and family programs, community development and engagement initiatives, civic engagement work and information and referral services for all of Scarborough. For more information, visit www.agincourtcommunityservices.com, follow us on twitter @AginComServices or like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AgincourtCommunityServices.

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, facebook.com/foresters 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.

Tech Timeout and the Tech Timeout logo are trademarks of the Independent Order of Foresters.

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:

City of Toronto: Doug Bennet, 416-338-6608, dbennet3@toronto.ca
Foresters: Maria Ganogiannis, 800-461-8431, ext. 4096, mganogiannis@foresters.com
KaBOOM!: Bruno Tager, 301-919-4482, btager@kaboom.org