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Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Revitalize Winter Garden Community with New Playground

Playground to enhance family well-being

WINTER GARDEN, FL, Nov. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - A dream is now a reality for special needs children in Winter Garden as their drawings were turned into a new playground today. In less than eight hours, the play space was built with the help of more than 200 volunteers from ForestersTM, UCP of Central Florida and non-profit KaBOOM!. Annually, the playground will serve 700 children and their families in the local community.

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

"Without the collaboration of UCP, KaBOOM! and Foresters, UCP's Winter Garden children would be limited on play," said Dr. Ilene Wilkins, CEO/President of UCP of Central Florida. "Now, children of all abilities will be able to learn, grow, and play on the accessible playground. The playground provides therapeutic benefits that will help our children develop and reach their full potential."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, UCP and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,500 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as slides, swings, and accessible features for children of all abilities.

About UCP of Central Florida
UCP of Central Florida is the expert for children with special needs and provides support, education, and therapy services for children, with and without disabilities, ages birth through 21. Services are offered at seven locations throughout Central Florida: downtown Orlando, East Orlando (2), Kissimmee, Lake Mary, Pine Hills and Winter Garden. More than 2,400 children and their families received services provided by UCP last year. For more information about programs and services, visit www.ucpcfl.org or call (407) 852-3300.

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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