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

Playground to enhance family well-being

TAMPA, FL, Nov. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - A dream is now a reality for children in Tampa as their drawings were turned into a new playground today. In less than eight hours, the play space was built at Temple Crest Park with the help of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department, Friends of Tampa Recreation and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve thousands of children and their families in the community for years to come.

"Foresters believes in providing opportunities for families to spend quality time together," said Kasia Czarski, Foresters Senior Vice President, Chief Membership and Marketing Officer. "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 September 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.

"Working with KaBOOM!, Foresters and the Friends of Tampa Recreation Inc., to provide a community built playground at Temple Crest is more than rewarding. As past successes with KaBOOM! have time and again proven it is closer to magical for the park builders that day and especially to the youth who will use the great new playground, said Greg Bayor, Director of the City Tampa Parks and Recreation Department

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.

"Every child deserves a really cool place where they can play. The Friends of Tampa Recreation, Inc. is committed to helping create those spaces in Tampa and we are pleased to sponsor our fifth playground build with KaBOOM! and the City of Tampa," said Mark Downing, Chair, Friends of Tampa Recreation, Inc.

Thanks to the work of Foresters, the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department, Friends of Tampa Recreation and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,500 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a Glide Slide, Spiral Climber and Vertical Adventure Tube.

About the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department
The Tampa Parks and Recreation Department's highest priority is to meet the Mayor's goal of advancing the quality of life in Tampa's neighborhoods by delivering consistent services; maintaining the safety and appearance of city parks and recreation facilities; and instilling community pride. Tampa has more than 3500 acres of open parkland. Tampa Parks and Recreation Department offers a variety of athletic, recreational, art, and educational programs and activities for all ages. We invite you to explore our parks online at www.tampagov.net/parksandrec.

About Friends of Tampa Recreation
The Friends is a not for profit organization that supports the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department through fund raising opportunities.  The Friends of Tampa Recreation, Inc. seeds new ideas, rewards initiative and enables others to help promote access and interest in the leisure amenities of Tampa.

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.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.

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 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 offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

SOURCE Foresters

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