Foresters invests $1.5M to build 20 playgrounds in US and Canada

Three communities to win Imagination Playgrounds in a Box

TORONTO, June 8 /CNW/ - In the midst of busy lives, the amount of time parents and children spend together can be in very short supply. Now, Foresters(TM), a life insurance provider committed to the well-being of families, is investing $1.5 million to fund 20 playground builds across North America in 2010 to provide opportunities for families to spend quality time together and get to know others in the community.

To build the playgrounds, Foresters is partnering with KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving play. The initiative will bring together thousands of community volunteers, city officials, and members and agents from Foresters and KaBOOM! Before the first hole is dug in the ground, children in each community will put crayon to paper and draw their dream playgrounds that will ultimately become a reality. Then, after weeks of planning and preparation, in less than eight hours, the child-designed playgrounds will be built from scratch by hundreds of volunteers. Each build will serve thousands of children and their families for years to come. Included among the 20 playground build locations are Dallas, Tampa, Orange County, Atlanta, and the Toronto area.

"Foresters Playground Build are part of our community investment strategy to encourage healthy family time and build stronger communities," said Kasia Czarski, Chief Membership and Marketing Officer at Foresters. "We launched the initiative in partnership with KaBOOM! in 2009, and this year Foresters expanded the program so that we can provide opportunities for even more families."

"Playgrounds are among the best places for families to get together and have fun," says Darell Hammond, CEO and Co-founder of KaBOOM! "At a time when many communities are stretched for funds, Foresters has demonstrated its commitment to families by pledging their underwriting support for this vital community program."

To generate awareness for healthy family time and saving play, Foresters is supporting a contest with Parents magazine and Parents.com to give away three Imagination Playground in a Box sets, which will be announced in the magazine's July issue. Three winning communities across North America will be awarded an Imagination Playground in a Box - a portable version of Imagination Playground (www.imaginationplayground.org) which was conceived and designed by acclaimed architect David Rockwell. Imagination Playground encourages unstructured, child-directed free play through an array of loose parts and other elements that enable children to play in an intuitive way - build something, tear it down and start all over again.

Nominations for the Imagination Playground in a Box giveaway may be submitted by visiting www.parents.com/playground or http://playspacefinder.kaboom.org between June 7 and August 20, 2010.(1)

About KaBOOM!

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization dedicated to saving play. Through community building, the company is focused on giving every child in America a great place to play within walking distance. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,700 new playgrounds, skate parks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including an online community, free online trainings, grants, publications and the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, which includes Playful City USA and Playmakers - a national network of individual advocates for play. KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

About Foresters

Founded in 1874 as a fraternal benefit society, Foresters(TM) champions the well-being of families through quality life insurance, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with more than 675,000 members in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Unity Life of Canada‡, a wholly owned subsidiary of Foresters, represents Foresters in Canada. For more information, please visit www.foresters.com.

Foresters(TM) is a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9.

    
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    ‡   Unity Life of Canada, a Foresters company, is a wholly owned
        subsidiary of The Independent Order of Foresters
    (1) The Imagination Playground in a Box giveaway is open only to
        residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia
        ("U.S.") and Canada (excluding the Province of Quebec) who have
        reached the age of majority in the participant's jurisdiction of
        residence at time of nomination. Subject to all applicable local,
        state, provincial and federal laws. Void in Quebec and where
        prohibited.
    

SOURCE Foresters

For further information: For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: Nadia Fiore, Manager, Marketing Communications & PR, Foresters, (416) 429-3000 X4763, (800) 461-8431 X4763 Toll-free (NA), nfiore@foresters.com

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