Foresters, KaBOOM! and volunteers bring families together with new playground at Heron Park

Playground will enhance family and community well-being

TORONTO, Aug. 8, 2015 /CNW/ - The East Scarborough community of Toronto was revitalized today thanks to a new playground built at Heron Park. In less than eight hours, more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, Boys & Girls Club of East Scarborough and non-profit KaBOOM! created the new play space, which will serve more than 30,000 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 East Scarborough community of Toronto 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.

"The City of Toronto's Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division is committed to providing healthy, fun and safe play spaces for kids to be kids," said Janie Romoff, the Division's General Manager. "We are thrilled to have the support and enthusiasm of wonderful partners and the local community for this great project in Heron Park."

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 City of Toronto
Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

About Boys & Girls Club of East Scarborough
The Boys & Girls Club of East Scarborough has been serving our community since 1956. Each year the Club provides service to over 7,000 children and youth in over15 locations throughout the East Scarborough community. These programs include licensed childcare, early years programs, before & afterschool programs, camps, sports/recreation & leadership development. At the Boys & Girls Club of East Scarborough, we strive to meet the changing needs of our community and continue to make this place 'A good place to be'.

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.

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

For further information: City of Toronto: Doug Bennet, 416-338-6608, dbennet3@toronto.ca; Boys & Girls Club of East Scarborough: Judene Stewart, (416) 281-0262 ext.299, jstewart@esbgc.org; 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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