Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Revitalize La Habra Community with New Playground

Playground to enhance family well-being

LA HABRA, CA, June 29, 2013 /CNW/ - A dream is now a reality for children in La Habra as their drawings were turned into a new playground today. In less than eight hours, the play space was built at Portola Park with the help of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, the Institute for Healthcare Advancement, the La Habra Family Resource Center and the City of La Habra and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve more than 350,000 children and their families in the community for years to come.

"Foresters believes in providing opportunities for families to spend quality time together," said Mark Rush, Foresters National Sales Manager, US Sales and Marketing. "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 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.

This is the second playground built in the City of La Habra thanks to the coordinated efforts of Foresters and the community, who together helped erect the playground at Corona Park in 2009.

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.

"We're so grateful for the opportunity to partner once again with such great agencies and organizations as Foresters, KaBOOM! and the City of La Habra," said Michael Villaire, Chief Operating Officer of the Institute for Healthcare Advancement. "This is our second playground build with these partners, and this was just as fun and rewarding as the last one. The Institute for Healthcare Advancement and its La Habra Family Resource Center have a long and rich tradition of service to the La Habra Community; this is one more effort of which we're proud to be a part."

"The impact that these projects have on our community is immeasurable," said David De Leon, Recreation Manager for the City of La Habra. "We are able to take areas of the community that have little or no presence of children, and create a vibrant and positive playground experience for the surrounding families."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, the Institute for Healthcare Advancement, the La Habra Family Resource Center,  the City of La Habra and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 4,236 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a Rockblocks Climbing Wall, a Rumble Seat Slide and a Superdome climber.

A passionate advocate for family well-being, Foresters recently launched 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.  For more details, visit

About the Institute for Healthcare Advancement/City of La Habra
The Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA) is a California 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charitable organization dedicated to empowering people to better health.  Founded in 1993, IHA is recognized as a national expert in health literacy. It produces an annual, continuing education conference on health literacy for healthcare professionals; publishes the "What To Do For Health" series of self-help health books, written at a 3rd- to 5th-grade reading level; and offers the IHA Health Literacy Rewrite/Redesign Service. IHA administers the La Habra Family Resource Center (FRC), located on the Las Lomas Elementary School campus in a lower-income neighborhood. The FRC provides case management, community referrals, adoption and kinship services, domestic violence services, legal assistance, counseling, and parenting classes.

About the City of La Habra
Located at Orange County's northernmost corner, La Habra is 7.3 square miles with a population of 61,789 and approximately 21,000 households. A full-service city employing over 275 people on a full-time basis, La Habra provides a full range of services, including police protection, water and sanitation services, street maintenance, animal control, permit processing, and recreation programs. Within the City are three outstanding school districts, which combined operate eight elementary schools, three middle schools, and two public high schools. A number of private and specialty schools also exist including preschools and those for the developmentally challenged. The City continues to focus on public safety, capital improvements, economic development, customer service, and beautification. La Habra also offers a distinctive and well-rounded program of civic, recreational, social and cultural services to its residents, including 20 parks, a Children's Museum, Community Theater, Tennis Center, and diverse Community Center. Community services include senior citizen programs, recreation classes, youth and adult sports programs, facility rentals, and an active volunteer program.

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

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.

Tech Timeout and the Tech Timeout logo are trademarks of The Independent Order of Foresters

About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. 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. 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 because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,200 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!: A Movement to Save Play, now out in paperback. 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 an office in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Foresters

For further information:

Helen Acevez, La Habra Family Resource Center, 714-447-3460, ext. 205,
David De Leon, City of La Habra, 562-905-9649,
Maria Ganogiannis, Foresters, 800-461-8431, ext. 4096,
Mike Vietti, KaBOOM!, 785-320-2137,

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