Foresters and KaBOOM! celebrate 100 playgrounds at Saint Paul Music Academy

Playgrounds in the U.S. and Canada to enhance family and community well-being

ST. PAUL, June 28, 2014 /CNW/ - ForestersTM, an international financial services provider, and non-profit KaBOOM! today marked the completion of 100 playgrounds built together with a new playground at Saint Paul Music Academy (SPMA) in St. Paul. In less than 8 hours, more than 200 volunteers from Foresters, Saint Paul Public Schools and organizers from KaBOOM! finished the new play space, which will serve over 25,000 children and their families in the local community for years to come.

"Today's build at Saint Paul Music Academy marks an exciting milestone in our partnership with KaBOOM!," said Kasia Czarski, senior vice president and chief membership and marketing officer, Foresters.  "Together with our members, sales partners and community volunteers we have provided a safe place to play for more than 3 million children in 100 communities."

The design for the new playground is based on drawings created by SPMA students during a special Design Day event held in March 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 has invested over $10 million with KaBOOM! to build almost 120 playgrounds across the U.S. and Canada by the end of 2015. Over their 15-year lifespan, these playgrounds will provide more than 3 million children and their families with an opportunity to spend quality time together and enhance family well-being.

Raquel Dykes, a parent of three SPMA students, has been involved with this project from the beginning and said it's an exciting project.

"We've been able to design, plan and now build the playground. It's gratifying to be part of a meaningful community event and process," said Dykes. "I'm so happy that we will have a new playground for all the kids in my neighborhood. They all deserve it."

The playground build offered volunteers the opportunity to take a Tech Timeout. The Tech Timeout™ challenge, which encourages families to take a pledge to turn off all electronic devices for an hour a day for one week and spend quality time together, is another way Foresters advocates for family well-being.  For more details, visit

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.

Saint Paul Public Schools
Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) is Minnesota's second largest school district with more than 39,000 students. Highly trained and deeply dedicated staff, cutting-edge academic programs, and strong community support are among the district's hallmarks. Our student population is diverse, with students who speak more than 125 languages and dialects. For more information visit

For 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 more than one million members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.  For more information, visit, and

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! is the national non-profit dedicated to the bold new goal of ensuring that all children, particularly the 16 million American children living in poverty, get the balance of active play they need to become healthy and successful adults. KaBOOM! has been a powerful champion for play since its founding in 1996, working with partners to build, improve and open more than 15,000 playgrounds, engage more than 1,000,000 volunteers and serve more than 6,600,000 children. KaBOOM! creates and catalyzes great places to play, inspires, empowers and leads play advocates, and educates and elevates the societal conversation about the importance of play in children's lives. For more information, visit or follow the conversation on why #playmatters at or

SOURCE: Foresters

For further information:

Saint Paul Public Schools: Toya Stewart Downey, 651-767-8104,
Foresters: Maria Ganogiannis, 800-461-8431, ext. 4096,
KaBOOM!: Kristine Austria, 202-746-8797,

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