Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Revitalize Sherwood Park Community with New Playground

Playground to enhance family well-being

SHERWOOD PARK, AB, July 14, 2012 /CNW/ - A dream is now a reality for children in Sherwood Park as their drawings were turned into a new playground today. In less than eight hours, the play space was built with the help of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, Brittany Lane Housing Co-op and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve 1,500 children and their families in the community for years to come.

"Foresters believes in providing opportunities for families to spend quality time together," said Chris Blair, Foresters Director of Sales, Western Canada. "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.

"2012 marks the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives and Brittany Lane Housing Co-op's 20th Anniversary," said Ayanna Inniss, Strathcona County Co-ops IYC Chair and longtime Brittany Lane resident. "Building a much-needed new playground and gathering space together with the help of our members and the community at large is a phenomenal IYC legacy project. This project will celebrate and raise awareness of the social and economic contributions that co-operative enterprises make in Canada and illustrate that ordinary Canadians can successfully run a multi-million dollar affordable housing development. We are so appreciative of Foresters, KaBOOM! and all those who sacrificed to make this dream a reality for our children."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, Brittany Lane Housing Co-op and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 1,790 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a playstructure that resembles the bow of a ship, a mini rock climbing wall and a double slide just for the toddlers. There will be plenty of seating for parents, an item that was sorely lacking in the old playground.

About Brittany Lane Housing Co-op
Located at the corner of Jim Common Drive and Crystal Lane in Sherwood Park, Brittany Lane Housing Co-operative is a 58 unit non-profit housing cooperative. We provide safe, attractive, self-governed and community-oriented housing at an affordable cost to our members. Half of our 58 units are rent-geared-to-income while the other half are below market rent units. The membership includes Canadians from diverse backgrounds, cultures, family compositions, and income levels. Brittany Lane Housing Co-op is also home to over 90 children.

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 2,000 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:

Robert Clark, Brittany Lane Housing Co-op, 780-729-4320, rob.clark2@gmail.com
Irene Shimoda, Foresters, 1-855-574-7055, ishimoda@foresters.com
Mike Vietti, KaBOOM!, 785-320-2137, mvietti@kaboom.org

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