Foresters, KaBOOM! and volunteers bring families together with new playground at North Middle School

Playground will enhance family and community well-being

CALGARY, Sept. 19, 2015 /CNW/ - The Calgary community was revitalized today thanks to a new playground built at North Middle School. In less than eight hours, more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, Foundations for the Future Charter Academy, Youth Central, and non-profit KaBOOM! created the new play space, which will serve more than 17,115 children and their families in the local community for years to come.

"A community's well-being starts with a child's well-being," said Anthony M. Garcia, President and CEO, Foresters. "Playgrounds are important to communities, providing an open space where children can play safely. We believe that an investment in a playground is an investment in family well-being, and we are happy to provide the Calgary community with a place that families can enjoy for years to come."

The design for the new playground is based on drawings created by neighborhood children at a special Design Day event held in June when community members met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Foresters to design their dream playground. The drawings inspired the final playground design.

Since 2006, Foresters, an international financial services provider, has invested over $10 million with KaBOOM! to build over 120 playgrounds across the US and Canada by the end of 2015. Over their 15-year lifespan, these playgrounds will provide more than 4 million children and their families with an opportunity to spend quality time together and enhance family well-being.

"Access to safe play is important to building community", says Penny Hume, Youth Central's Executive Director, "That's why Youth Central wanted to be a part of this amazing project. Our youth volunteers are learning about the importance of play, as well as seeing firsthand what a group of volunteers can achieve with one day of hard work. The whole community is joining together to build a playground for Calgary's children."

Green spaces and safe play structures where children and families can enjoy and spend time together are sparse in many high density communities. Playing outdoors is an important part of every child's healthy development and the creation of this new playground will allow thousands of children to play safely and be active in their community.

Foresters is a founding member of the KaBOOM! Leadership Circle – a group of organizations providing long-term guidance and support to KaBOOM! and its mission. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to the bold goal of ensuring that all children get the balance of active play they need to become healthy and successful adults because #playmatters.

About Foundations for the Future Charter Academy (FFCA)
FFCA is a public charter school that opened in 1997.  FFCA's mission is to provide a safe and caring environment where academic excellence, character development, parental involvement and staff leadership are valued and fostered. The north middle school campus serves over 530 students in grades 5-8 from the north side of Calgary.

About Youth Central
Youth Central is a charitable non-profit, established in 1992, offering nine programs to the young people of Calgary. We provide a place for youth to find meaningful volunteer experiences.  We help youth make a difference and be active caring citizens. We support youth in building valuable skills for future employment. We give youth a voice. We grow young people's understanding of their community. We build Calgary's leaders of today and tomorrow. Currently there are over 3,400 young people engaged in Youth Central's programs. Last year these youth volunteered over 40,000 hours in the community! 

About Foresters
For more than 140 years, Foresters™, an international financial services provider, has fulfilled its purpose to enhance family well-being for its members and the communities where they live.  A fraternal benefit society, Foresters offers quality life insurance and investment products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with over one million 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 giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,300 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.1 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters: visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.

SOURCE Foresters

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2015/09/19/20150919_C3962_PDF_EN_500639.pdf

For further information: FFCA, NMS: Kurtis Leinweber, 403-253-9257, kurtis.leinweber@ffca-calgary.com; Youth Central: Lisa Kindree, 403-771-1342, lisa@youthcentral.com; Foresters: Jennifer Peckett, 647-290-0125, jpeckett@foresters.com; KaBOOM!: Bruno Tager, 301-919-4482, btager@kaboom.org

RELATED LINKS
www.foresters.com

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