Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Build New Playground for Children in Toronto
Priority Neighbourhood

Child-Designed Playground will Eventually Serve 9,000 Children and their Families

TORONTO, Aug. 8 /CNW/ - Residents of Toronto Community Housing's Sheppard Victoria Park community, a designated priority neighbourhood, received a new playground today thanks to the efforts of more than 200 volunteers from Foresters(TM), non-profit KaBOOM! and Toronto Community Housing friends and neighbours.

"Foresters is pleased to provide this deserving community with a much needed playground where children and their parents can spend quality family time together," said George Mohacsi, President and CEO of Foresters. "This is an excellent example of Foresters' mission coming to life. Foresters champions the well-being of families by investing in our members and the communities where they live and providing opportunities to make a difference."

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.

It took volunteers a little over six hours to build the 2,700-square-foot playground developed by KaBOOM!. Inspired by the imagination of kids in the community during a Design Day in June, the playground will eventually provide more than 9,000 children and their families who live in the east-end high-rise community with a safe place to play during the playground's lifetime. 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.

"Toronto Community Housing's vision is to contribute to a city where residents are proud of the place where they live and where people feel connected to each other and their community," said Mitzie Hunter, Toronto Community Housing's Chief Administrative Officer. "Thanks to our partnership with Foresters and KaBOOM!, children have a safe and accessible place to play and the community has a great gathering space for residents to interact. That is a key building block of a safe and healthy community."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, Toronto Community Housing and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,700-square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a 360 Degree Spiral Slide, Adventure Bridge, Glide Slide and Inclined Cliff Hanger, a ribbon climber, swing set and a tic-tac-toe activity wall.

About Toronto Community Housing Corporation

Toronto Community Housing is Canada's largest social housing provider and home to more than 164,000 tenants, about 6% of the city's population, with low and moderate incomes. Toronto Community Housing employs 1,400 staff in a broad range of jobs who deliver its mandate to provide quality housing and build great neighbourhoods. Toronto Community Housing is one of Canada's 2010 Top 100 Employers.

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

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.

SOURCE Foresters

For further information: For further information: Kyle Rooks, Toronto Community Housing, 416-981-4347, kyle.rooks@torontohousing.ca; Nadia Fiore, Foresters, 1-800-461-8431 x4763, nfiore@foresters.com; Mike Vietti, KaBOOM!, 202-464-6076, mvietti@kaboom.org

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Foresters

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