Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Encourage Quality Family Time By Building New Playground for Long Beach Children

Child-Designed Playground will Eventually Serve 6,000 Children and their Families

LONG BEACH, CA, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - Children in Long Beach received a brand new playground today thanks to the effort of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, the Wrigley Area Neighborhood Alliance, the City of Long Beach and non-profit KaBOOM! The new playground will serve 6,000 children and their families in the Long Beach community for years to come.  Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in December 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.

"Foresters shares its financial strength with its members and communities where they live, such as Long Beach," said Kasia Czarski, Foresters Chief Membership and Marketing Officer. "Playgrounds are an ideal place for families to get to know other families and build strong communities.  This new playground at 21st St. Park will provide opportunities for families to spend quality time together for years to come."

Foresters has invested over $2 million with KaBOOM! to build 32 playgrounds across North America since 2006. These playgrounds will eventually serve more than 400,000 children, providing them and their families with a place where they can play, learn and have fun together.

The playground at 21st St. Park will provide 6,000 children and their families in the Long Beach community with a great place to play and engage in healthy family time. In less than eight hours, the child-designed playground was built from scratch by hundreds of volunteers from Foresters, the Wrigley Area Neighborhood Alliance, the City of Long Beach 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.

"I am so excited that we had the privilege of building a new playground with Foresters and KaBOOM! in my neighborhood and have a safe place for our children to play," said Jill Hill, WANA Project Leader.

Thanks to the work of Foresters, the Wrigley Area Neighborhood Alliance, the City of Long Beach and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 3,000 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a Triple Racer Slide, an Inclined Cliff Hanger and Swing Sets.

"Our kids need outdoor spaces to be active and healthy," said 7th District Long Beach City Councilmember James Johnson. "Thanks to the support of Foresters and KaBOOM!, with the hard work of WANA and the many community members and kids who have participated in this project, we will now be able to provide the type of park that the children of Wrigley deserve."

About Wrigley Area Neighborhood Alliance, Inc. (WANA)
Founded in 2007, WANA is a non-profit dedicated to fostering a sense of well-being within the Wrigley District of Long Beach and developing future generations of community leaders by: strengthening the community's commitment to Daisy Avenue Christmas Tree Lane; encouraging volunteerism and civic leadership; celebrating our cultural diversity; and hosting educational programs on topics of interest to our members and the general public.  

About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 500,000 people, the City of Long Beach is one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the United States, offering all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of community and neighborhood pride. The city manages 160 parks and open space acres on over 3,000 acres and six miles of beaches. The Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine Department was named "Best in the Nation" by the National Recreation and Parks Association in 2006, 1998, 1988 and 1976.

About Foresters
Founded in 1874 as a fraternal benefit society, ForestersTM 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 765,000ˆ 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.

ForestersTM is a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9.
ˆIncludes total number of UK Child Trust accounts
Unity Life of Canada, a Foresters company, is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Independent Order of Foresters

About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Because all children deserve to be active and healthy, KaBOOM! works to ensure that every child in America has a great place to play within walking distance. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together businesses and communities to construct more than 1,900 new places to play across North America. KaBOOM! also fights the Play Deficit with online tools that empower communities to join the movement to save play. The KaBOOM! website, kaboom.org, allows communities to self-organize and take action to support play on a both a local and national level.

SOURCE Foresters

For further information:

Anna Mendiola, Park Development Officer, 562-570-3165, anna.mendiola@longbeach.gov
Jill Hill, WANA, 562-212-9397, jhill2075@verizon.net
Ryan Jones, Foresters, 1-800-461-8431 x4096 rjones@foresters.com  
Mike Vietti, KaBOOM!, 785-320-2137, mvietti@kaboom.org

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Foresters

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