Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Revitalize Mississauga Community with New Playground

Playground to enhance family well-being

MISSISSAUGA,ON, July 28, 2012 /CNW/ - A dream is now a reality for children in Mississauga as their drawings were turned into a new playground today. In less than eight hours, the play space was built at the Gardenview Court apartment complex with the help of more than 200 volunteers from Foresters™, Boys and Girls Clubs of Peel Region, Peel Living and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve 4,500 children and their families in the community for years to come.

"Foresters believes in providing opportunities for families to spend quality time together," said Sharon Giffen, President, Foresters Canada and President and Chief Executive Officer, Foresters Life Insurance Company. "A playground is an important piece for the revitalization of a community. Not only does it provide a first step towards keeping children healthy, but it's a safe, central location for the entire neighborhood to get together."

Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in May 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.

Since 2006, Foresters has invested over $7 million with KaBOOM! with almost 100 playgrounds built or planned 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 an 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.

Thanks to the work of Foresters, Boys and Girls Clubs of Peel Region, Peel Living and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,507 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as the Climbing Wall,  Tot's Fire Truck and the Triple Racer Slide.

"We are so pleased to continue our development of communities," said Debbie Smith, Executive Director, Boys and Girls Clubs of Peel. "Working with the enthusiastic parents and children from Gardenview Court has shown once again how important playgrounds are in providing a lasting legacy for families to enjoy."

"The collective contribution of all, including the community, Peel Living, sponsors, and volunteers has provided a place for children to be active and for families to enjoy," said Muliwa Mwarigha M.S., General Manager of Peel Living and Director of Residential Property Management, Region of Peel.

About Boys and Girls Clubs of Peel Region
For more than 100 years, Boys and Girls Clubs in communities across Canada have been helping young people to discover, develop and achieve their best potential as they grow to become Canada's future adults, citizens and leaders, by engaging them in activities that challenge and help them develop healthy minds and bodies. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Peel (BGCP) is a leading provider of quality after school, out-of-school and Breakfast for Kids programs to children and youth that support the healthy physical, educational and social development of more than 13,000 young people and their families in Canada each year.

About Peel Living
Peel Living is the Region of Peel's non-profit housing company and is a recognized leader in creating innovative housing projects and developing housing policy. Peel Living is the largest non-profit landlord in the Region of Peel and the third largest social housing provider in Ontario, providing homes at 70 sites to 16,400 residents. Visit www.peelliving.ca for more information.

About Foresters
Foresters™ is a life insurance provider with a difference.  The fraternal benefit society, founded in 1874, supports family well-being through quality products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with almost 950,000 members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.  For more information, visit foresters.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.

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! in 1996 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 89,000 places to play, built more than 2,100 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

For further information:

Debbie Smith, B&G Club, 905-603-8724, dsmith@bgcpeel.org
Lisa Dimenna, Peel Living, 905-791-7800, ext.4519, lisa.dimenna@peelregion.ca
Irene Shimoda, Foresters, 416-467-2544, ishimoda@foresters.com
Mike Vietti, KaBOOM!, 785-320-2137, mvietti@kaboom.org

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