Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Build New Playground for Calgary Children

Child-Designed Playground will Eventually Serve 17,600 Children and their Families

CALGARY, Aug. 21 /CNW/ - Children from Calgary received a brand new playground today thanks to the effort of more than 200 volunteers from Foresters(TM), Parks Foundation Calgary, the City of Calgary Parks, the Forest Heights Community Association and non-profit KaBOOM! The new playground will serve 17,600 children and their families in the Calgary community for years to come.

"Foresters and Unity Life, a Foresters company, are committed to creating opportunities for families where they can play and spend healthy family time together", said Kasia Czarski, Chief Membership and Marketing Officer at Foresters. "Our mission is to enrich the lives of our members, their families and the communities where they live, like the Forest Heights playground we all built together here in Calgary."

Foresters, a life insurance provider committed to the well-being of families, is funding 20 playground builds across North America in 2010.By investing $1.5 million in these projects, Foresters is partnering with KaBOOM! to build playgrounds that will eventually serve more than 250,000 children and their families.

The Forest Heights Playground will provide 17,600 children and their families in the Calgary community with a great place to play. In less than eight hours, the child-designed playground was built from scratch by hundreds of volunteers from Foresters, Parks Foundation Calgary, the City of Calgary Parks, the Forest Heights Community Association and the surrounding community. In addition, children and families spent the day playing games and participating in arts and crafts activities. Playgrounds are an ideal place for families to get to know other families and build strong communities.

"Parks Foundation Calgary is proud to have partnered with Foresters, KaBOOM! and the Forest Heights Community today," said Myrna Dubé, CEO Parks Foundation Calgary. "To see so many volunteers working together on this important playground build is truly amazing. Playgrounds are a building block for a stronger community and we are delighted to help support Forest Heights make their playground dream come true."

"This is a fantastic initiative that we are proud to support," said Anne Charlton, Director of The City of Calgary Parks. "The playground equipment in this southeast park was due for a lifecycle replacement, so this new equipment is going up where it is needed and where it will have a positive impact on the community."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, Parks Foundation Calgary, the City of Calgary Parks and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,500 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a 360 Spiral Slide, Catwalk Loop Ladder and Inclined Cliff Hanger.

About Parks Foundation Calgary

Parks Foundation Calgary (PFC) is a non-profit, volunteer based organization dedicated to improving the lives of all Calgarians. Since its establishment in 1985, PFC has been the guardian of our community's natural environment by making true the dreams of individuals, organizations and communities that wish to create and enhance the city's parks and green spaces. With an emphasis on communities of lesser means, our focus is on preserving Calgary's heritage and natural beauty, ensuring that new parks and open spaces are developed, amateur sport is encouraged and our ecologically significant river valleys are preserved.

About the City of Calgary Parks

The City of Calgary Parks works to create and sustain a vibrant, healthy, safe and caring community as a planner, protector, facilitator, educator and provider of parks and open space in Calgary. As a steward of Calgary's open space system and environment, Parks is committed to protecting the value and quality of the assets charged to its care - including natural areas, pathways, playgrounds and cemeteries. The City of Calgary Parks strives for high-quality standards and sustainability within its parks and open-space system, while ensuring that they remain accessible for the enjoyment and outdoor pursuits of all Calgarians.

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 1,800 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‡ is a wholly owned subsidiary of Foresters. 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.

‡ Unity Life of Canada, a Foresters company, is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Independent Order of Foresters

SOURCE Foresters

For further information: For further information: Dennis Urquhart, City of Calgary, 403-268-2912, Dennis.Urquhart@calgary.ca; Myrna Dubé, Parks Foundation Calgary, 403-974-0755, mdube@parksfdn.com; Ryan Jones, Foresters, 1-800-461-8431 x4096, rjones@foresters.com; Mike Vietti, KaBOOM!, 202-464-6076, mvietti@kaboom.org

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Foresters

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