Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Encourage Quality Family Time By Building New Playground for Tampa Children

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Child-Designed Playground will Serve 6,000 Children and their Families

In less than eight hours, the child-designed playground was built from scratch by hundreds of volunteers.

Playgrounds are an ideal place for families to get to know other families and build strong communities. This new playground at Cuscaden Park will provide opportunities for families to spend quality time together for years to come.

Children in Tampa received a brand new playground thanks to the effort of more than 200 volunteers from Foresters™, a life insurance provider committed to the well-being of families, the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department, the VM Ybor Neighborhood Association and non-profit KaBOOM! The new playground will serve 6,000 children and their families in the local community in the years to come. Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in August 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.

“Foresters shares its financial strength with its members and communities where they live, such as Tampa,” said Bruce Burak, Foresters National Sales Manager. “Playgrounds are an ideal place for families to get to know other families and build strong communities. This new playground at Cuscaden Park will provide opportunities for families to spend quality time together for years to come.”

Since 2006, Foresters has invested over $7 million with KaBOOM! and built or planned almost 100 playgrounds across the U.S. and Canada. Over their 15 year lifespan, these playgrounds will provide more than 2.6 million children and their families the 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.

“Community playground builds are such an inspiring way to bring the community together. I believe this is one of the most rewarding programs that has developed into a great partnership with Foresters and KaBOOM!. Where else can our volunteers, business’s, neighborhoods and friends come together and in just a few short hours have an incredible play space for our children? We are so fortunate to live in such a wonderful community that values the importance of play!,“ said Karen Palus, Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Tampa.

Thanks to the work of Foresters, the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department, the VM Ybor Neighborhood Association and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 2,500 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as an Inclined Cliff Hanger, a Nature Slither Slide and a Triple Racer Slide.

In less than eight hours, the child-designed playground was built from scratch by hundreds of volunteers from Foresters, the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department, the VM Ybor Neighborhood Association and the surrounding community. In addition, children and families spent the day playing games and participating in arts and crafts activities.

“The new Cuscaden Park playground will be a tremendous addition to our neighborhood park,” said Kim Headland, YM Ybor Neighborhood Association. “Not only will it benefit kids for many years to come, the entire process has been a wonderful community building event. It is improvements such as these that bring people together, and in many ways, stabilize a neighborhood.”

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 http://www.tampagov.net/parksandrec.

About VM Ybor Neighborhood Association
As Ybor City and the cigar industry prospered in the post-World War I economy, well-positioned factory workers, office managers, and entrepreneurs began moving north, past La Michiga, to what is now Columbus Drive and V.M. Ybor. A larger, greater Ybor City developed. Today, the diverse V.M. Ybor neighborhood, still enjoys many urban amenities and close proximity to everything Ybor City and downtown Tampa has to offer. It is truly a gem in Tampa’s urban core!

About Foresters
Founded in 1874 as a fraternal benefit society, Foresters™ champions the well-being of families through quality life insurance, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with more than 835,000 members in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Unity Life of Canada¹, a wholly owned subsidiary of Foresters, represents Foresters in Canada. For more information, please visit http://www.foresters.com.

Foresters™ is a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9.
¹Unity Life of Canada, a Foresters company, is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Independent Order of Foresters

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! 15 years ago 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 85,000 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 http://www.kaboom.org.

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Ryan Jones
Foresters
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