Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Encourage Quality Family Time by Building New Playground for Calgary Children

Child-Designed Playground will Eventually Serve 12,000 Children and their Families

CALGARY, June 18, 2011 /CNW/ - Children in Calgary received a brand new playground today thanks to the effort of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, a life insurance provider committed to the well-being of families, Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association (HCSA) and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve 12,000 children and their families in the local community for years to come.  Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in April 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 Calgary," said Chris Blair, Foresters/Unity Life Director of Sales, Western Canada. "Playgrounds are an ideal place for families to get to know other families and build strong communities. This new playground at HSCA will provide opportunities for families to spend quality time together for years to come."

Since 2006, Foresters has invested over $7 million with KaBOOM! and built or planned almost 100 playgrounds 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 the 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.

The playground at HSCA will provide 12,000 children and their families in the local 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, HSCA and the surrounding community. In addition, children and families spent the day playing games and participating in arts and crafts activities.

"Everyone at HSCA is very grateful to have been selected as a recipient of this project from Foresters and KaBOOM!," said Jay Michi, HSCA Executive Director. "We now have a brand new, safe, community-focused playground where families can gather to play, meet and share in the fun means an awful lot to our community. Moreover, to have participated in a process that involves hundreds of volunteers and that also encouraged us to reach out to strengthen our relationship with the local business community, made the project all that much more rewarding. I can say that I was personally affected through my involvement with this project, in that for the rest of my life, I will never look at an old broken down playground in the same way. I will remind myself of this project and then move forward with the knowledge and faith that it can be transformed. I always gave some credence to the idea that a community, working together, could conceivably tackle any obstacle. Now I am a true believer in this fundamental principle."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, HSCA and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,280 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a Rumble Seat, a Wide Glide Slide and a Solar Climber.

About Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association
The Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association is a complex and dynamic inner-city community association in the heart of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, with a mandate from the City of Calgary to provide social, recreational and educational services to the more than 9,000 residents of the neighbourhoods of Hillhurst and Sunnyside. In addition to this mandate, HSCA has a strong tradition of social service delivery which has come to characterize and define our association. Our long-standing mission statement is "To preserve and enhance a healthy and vibrant quality of life for the residents of Hillhurst-Sunnyside."

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 835,000 members in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Unity Life of Canada¹, a wholly owned subsidiary of Foresters, represents Foresters in Canada. For more information, please visit

ForestersTM is a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9.

¹Unity 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. 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! 15 years ago 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 85,000 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!. In addition to building playgrounds, KaBOOM! National Partners, such as ForestersTM support KaBOOM! national programs, which have a nation-wide impact on the health and well-being of children and communities. KaBOOM! national programs spread the message that play is critical to the development of children and create solutions to address the play deficit that currently exists in thousands of communities nationwide. ForestersTM is also a member of the KaBOOM! Leadership Circle, whose members provide long-term guidance and support for the organization and our mission. To learn more how KaBOOM! and our partners are fighting the play deficit, go to

SOURCE Foresters

For further information:

Jay Michi, Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association, 403-283-0554,
Ryan Jones, Foresters, 1-800-461-8431 x4096,
Mike Vietti, KaBOOM!, 785-320-2137,

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