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Foresters, KaBOOM! & Volunteers Revitalize Perth Amboy Community With New Playground

Playground to enhance family well-being

PERTH AMBOY, NJ, Aug. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - A dream is now a reality for children in Perth Amboy as their drawings were turned into a new playground today. In less than eight hours, the play space was built at Francis Street Park with the help of more than 200 volunteers from Foresters TM, the Jewish Renaissance Foundation, the City of Perth Amboy and non-profit KaBOOM!. The new playground will serve more than 18,500 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 June 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.

"Parks are a critical part of a community's infrastructure and this playground is part of a larger Neighborhood Revitalization Project," said JRF CEO, Alexandra Mansonet-Cross.  "When the Perth Amboy Alliance for Community initiative began, revitalizing Francis park was a priority expressed by the Greater Budapest residents. Our PAAC staff has been working with KaBOOM!, the City of Perth Amboy, and resident volunteers on this project for the past two years and I'm just excited to see it all finally happen. The JRF is thankful for the support from our partners: Foresters, KaBOOM!, and the City of Perth Amboy. I think today we've witnessed what authentic desire for change within the community, and active involvement of neighborhood residents can achieve."

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.

"The opportunity to provide this type of community gathering and investment doesn't come often and we've had the privilege of working with KaBOOM! on two occasions," said Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz. "I am extremely grateful for this contribution to our City, our families and for the beautification of this neighborhood-- where JRF has also dedicated much time and creativity towards its improvement."

Thanks to the work of Foresters, the Jewish Renaissance Foundation, the City of Perth Amboy and KaBOOM!, children and their families now have a 3,000 square-foot playground to call home that includes features such as a Slither Slide, Swings and an Inclined Cliff Hanger.

A passionate advocate for family well-being, Foresters recently launched the Tech Timeout™ challenge, which encourages families to take a pledge to turn off all electronic devices for an hour a day for one week.  For more details, visit techtimeout.com.

About the Jewish Renaissance Foundation The Jewish Renaissance Foundation was established in 1995 as a faith-based, nonprofit corporation with central offices located at The Proprietary House, 149 Kearny Avenue in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. As a Community Action Agency, we strive to overcome poverty and hopelessness throughout Middlesex County East. We believe in changing lives by creating hope and self-sufficiency, and we succeed by providing individuals, children and families with essential health and human services, community development and youth programs.

About the City of Perth Amboy Perth Amboy, an urban community with rich cultural history and a three hundred year old maritime and industrial legacy, is an interconnection point for major highways, roadways and waterways. The City's position at the confluence of the Raritan River, Arthur Kill, and Raritan Bay provides deep-water access to the Atlantic Ocean for national and international marine traffic. Founded in 1683 and chartered in 1718, it served as the state capital until 1790 and is home of the Royal Governor William Franklin's Mansion. Perth Amboy, presently known for its beautiful waterfront area is located in the center of the State, midway between New York and Philadelphia. Perth Amboy comprises a land area of 4.55 square miles and has a population of 50,814 residents.

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.

Tech Timeout and the Tech Timeout logo are trademarks of The Independent Order of Foresters

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