Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Revitalize Maplewood Community with New Playground

Playground to enhance family well-being

MAPLEWOOD, MN, July 14, 2012 /CNW/ - A dream is now a reality for children in Maplewood as their drawings were turned into a new playground today. In less than eight hours, the play space was built at The Salvation Army Lakewood Worship and Service Center with the help of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, The Salvation Army and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve 6,000 children and their families in the community for years to come.

"Foresters believes in providing opportunities for families to spend quality time together," said Bruce Burak, Foresters National Sales Manager. "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 May 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.

Since 2006, Foresters has invested over $7 million with KaBOOM! with nearly 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.

"Filling the need in a community has always been the goal of The Salvation Army for 125 years," said Major Jim Curl, Maplewood Salvation Army leader. "Whether we are providing basic needs of food and shelter or rallying to encourage and sustain families, the heart of our mission is holistic service for the body, soul and spirit "

Thanks to the work of Foresters, The Salvation Army and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,700 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as 360 Degree Spiral Slide, Horizontal Loop Ladder and Double Glide Slide.

About The Salvation Army
The Twin Cities Salvation Army serves 288,000 people a year through its 27 local centers of operation. Daily it serves 2,500 hot meals and shelters 970 people. More than 33,000 local volunteers help The Salvation Army provide these and other services, from child daycare to senior housing. To volunteer, call 651-746-3400 or visit To donate, call 800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769) or visit

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 almost 950,000 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.

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! in 1996 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 89,000 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!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit

SOURCE Foresters

For further information:

Annette Bauer, The Salvation Army, 651-238-8210,
Irene Shimoda, Foresters, 1-855-574-7055,
Mike Vietti, KaBOOM! 785-320-2137,

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