Foresters Financial and KaBOOM! Partner to Increase Play Opportunities for Black Mountain Kids

Community Volunteers Build State-of-the-art Playground in Six Hours at
Black Mountain Primary

BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Black Mountain community was revitalized today thanks to a new
playground built at Black Mountain Primary. In just six hours, more than
200 volunteers from Foresters Financial™, the YMCA of Western North
Carolina, Buncombe County Schools and the national non-profit KaBOOM!
created the new playspace, which will serve more than 1,800 children and
their families in the local community for years to come.

“For over 140 years Foresters Financial has focused on our Purpose,
which is to help families and strengthen communities,” said Jim Boyle,
President and CEO, Foresters Financial. ” This partnership creates safe
play areas where families can spend quality time together while
developing young bodies and minds. We know the Black Mountain community
will use this playground for many years to come.”

The design for the new playground is based on drawings created by
neighborhood children at a special Design Day event held August when
community members met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Foresters
Financial to design their dream playground. The drawings inspired the
final playground design.

“We are honored that Foresters and KaBOOM! have chosen to partner with
us to build a community playground at Black Mountain Primary, where we
have an active afterschool program,” said Melissa Wiedeman, vice
president of operations for K-12 child care at the YMCA of WNC. “The Y
is all about bringing the community together for a common cause, and
providing a safe and fun environment where our kids can play is a cause
we can all support.”

Since 2006, Foresters Financial and KaBOOM! have built 150 beautiful
playspaces across 86 cities in 31 states and provinces throughout North
America. Thanks to the hard work of over 9,900 Foresters members, sales
partners and guests for the last eleven years, we are positively
impacting the lives of more than 5 million children by providing them
with access to play. Through each new playground, families are better
able to spend quality time together right in their own neighborhoods,
playing alongside Foresters members and community partners.

“As an educator, I believe that active play is essential to growing
children,” said Malorie McGinnis, principal of Black Mountain Primary
School. “As they play, they explore their environment and learn to build
healthy relationships with peers. The Black Mountain Community looks
forward to supporting students and families as we play and grow

Play is the business of childhood and is essential to the physical,
cognitive, creative, social and emotional development of every kid. It’s
how kids build strong muscles and healthy bodies; it’s how they learn
problem-solving, conflict resolution and creativity; it’s how they make
friends and build strong bonds with adults. Play is critical to a kid’s
ability to thrive.

Foresters Financial is a KaBOOM! Founding Partner and National Partner.
Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to ensuring that all kids get the
balance and active play they need to thrive.

About YMCA of Western North Carolina

The YMCA of Western North Carolina is one of the area’s leading
nonprofits, strengthening communities through youth development, healthy
living, and social responsibility. Founded in 1889, we engage more than
50,000 people – regardless of age, income, or background – to nurture
the potential of children and teens, improve the region’s health and
well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support the
community. It does this through eight YMCAs, dozens of program sites,
and YMCA Camp Watia. As the state’s largest provider of licensed
school-age child care, it gives more than 1,000 children a day the
opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. For more information, please
visit ymcawnc.org.

About Buncombe County Schools

Buncombe County Schools (BCS) is the 13th largest school system in North
Carolina. We educate just over 24,000 students and employ over 4,000
dedicated and caring teachers and staff. Each and every day, our
cafeteria staff members prepare healthy and delicious food to nourish
our students and ensure they can learn and benefit from their time in
the classroom. The BCS Nutrition Department, with the help of community
partners, serves a varied selection of nutritious menu options, and we
locally source food when possible. BCS is dedicated to helping our
students reach their highest potential and serving healthy food in our
cafeterias is a key part of our mission. Please visit https://buncombeschools.org/
to learn more.

About Foresters Financial

Foresters Financial is a purpose-driven financial services provider with
more than three million clients and members in the United States, Canada
and the United Kingdom, and total funds under management of $45.1 billion1.
With a history of more than 140 years, we provide life insurance,
savings, retirement and investment solutions that help families achieve
their financial goals, protect their families and improve their
communities. For more information, visit foresters.com.

Foresters Financial and Foresters are trade names and trademarks of The
Independent Order of Foresters (a fraternal benefit society, 789 Don
Mills Road, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9) and its subsidiaries.

Products offered vary by country. Not all products are available for
distribution in all jurisdictions. In the United States, products are
offered by The Independent Order of Foresters and its subsidiaries,
including Foresters Financial Services, Inc. a registered broker-dealer.
Securities, life insurance and annuity products are offered through
Foresters Financial Services, Inc. or independent producers. Insurance
products are issued by Foresters Life Insurance and Annuity Company, New
York, or The Independent Order of Foresters. Investment advisory
products and services are offered through Foresters Advisory Services,
LLC, a registered investment adviser.

1 in Canadian dollars as of December 31, 2017

About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids –
especially those living in poverty – the childhood they deserve through
great, safe places to play. KaBOOM! inspires communities to make play
the easy choice and works to drive the national discussion about the
importance of PLAYces. KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build
or improve more than 17,000 playspaces, engaged more than 1.5 million
volunteers and served over 9 million kids. To learn why play matters for
all kids, visit kaboom.org and
join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom,
and instagram.com/kaboom.
#playmatters #PLAYceforKids

414828I CAN/US (03/18)


The YMCA of Western North Carolina:
Mary O Ratcliffe, 828
210 2267
County Schools:

Stacia Harris, 828-350-2261

Greg Hubert, 416-429-3000 ext. 4044
Finnell, 202-464-6164


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