Playground will enhance family and community well-being
OTTAWA, May 9, 2015 /CNW/ - The Ottawa community was revitalized today thanks to a new playground built at Ottawa Community Housing. In less than eight hours, more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, Ottawa Community Housing (OCH), the OCH Foundation, and non-profit KaBOOM! created the new play space, which will serve more than 1,000 children and their families in the local community each year.
"A community's well-being starts with a child's well-being," said Tony 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 Ottawa community 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 February 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.
"This is more than just a playground," said Mark Sutcliffe, Chair of the OCH Foundation. "The structure is a testament to the determination of the tenants – those who mobilized the community to build a safe and active future for the next generation."
"Having a safe place to play and socialize is extremely important for the many children and their families who will be using this playground," remarked Stéphane Giguère, Chief Executive Officer of OCH. "The children and the parents are fully engaged in the realisation of this project. I want to thank the OCH Foundation, Foresters and KaBOOM!, for their vision and commitment in helping to make this community a great place to raise a family!"
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.
Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) Foundation
The OCH Foundation goes beyond the walls and windows, bricks and mortar of the 15,000 Ottawa Community Housing units in this city. We support the people -- the 32,000 tenants -- living in OCH communities as they strive to achieve personal success.
Ottawa Community Housing (OCH)
Ottawa Community Housing provides affordable rental housing to approximately 32,000 residents. The Corporation is the largest social housing provider in Ottawa, and the second largest in Ontario. It provides almost 15,000 units for seniors, parents, children, singles and persons with special needs in 164 communities. www.och.ca
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! is the national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,000 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 7.4 million children. 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 lives and communities. To learn why #playmatters: visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.
For further information: OCH Foundation: Gray Smith Communications, 613-799-8552, [email protected]; OCH: Melany Chretien, 613-296-2651, [email protected]; Foresters: Lori Abbott, 800-461-8431 ext. 4763, [email protected]; KaBOOM!: Bruno Tager, 301-919-4482, [email protected]