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Volunteers Build Playground At New Jersey Park Damaged By Superstorm Sandy

Today Olympian and coach of the World Cup-bound U-20 men’s soccer team Tab Ramos will join more than 200 volunteers from UnitedHealthcare and the Union Beach area to build a new playground at Scholer Park, which was damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

The new 4,275-square-foot playground in Union Beach will include swings, a triple racer slide, monorail zip line and a rock climbing wall. The playground’s design is based on drawings created by Union Beach children who participated in a “design day” event in July.

This is one of three playgrounds UnitedHealthcare is building today as part of its “Do Good. Live Well.” program, an employee-volunteer initiative to help prevent obesity. Hundreds of UnitedHealthcare volunteers will build playgrounds in Waltham, Mass., and Dix Hills, N.Y.

“As we continue to rebuild our infrastructure in the Borough of Union Beach, we appreciate the playground UnitedHealthcare has gifted to our community,” said Paul J. Smith, mayor of Union Beach. “A new playground at Scholer Park will help the children of Union Beach and their families take a giant step in their return to normalcy.”

Many of the residents in the neighborhood near Scholer Park are still displaced after Superstorm Sandy. People who have been able to move back into their homes must travel to other towns to take their children to a playground. Most of the playgrounds in Union Beach were damaged by the storm.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to work with Union Beach residents to help build a new playground at Scholer Park where children can play and participate in healthy activities,” said Michael McGuire, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of New Jersey.

The volunteers are working with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. The Union Beach playground, one of more than 150 such projects led by KaBOOM! this year, will be the 11 th playground created by KaBOOM! and UnitedHealthcare.

For more information about the benefits of volunteering and to find local opportunities to get involved, visit DoGoodLiveWell.org. Follow @DoGoodLiveWell on Twitter or "like" Do Good. Live Well. on Facebook.

About the Borough of Union BeachThe Borough of Union Beach is a small municipality with a population of 6,245 people located in the County of Monmouth. Union Beach has been devastated by Superstorm Sandy and is in the process of rebuilding and restoring the little Borough. Many of the homes have been lost and the infrastructure is in much need of repair. Mayor Paul J. Smith and six Council Members (Mr. Tuberion, Mr. Andreuzzi, Mr. Wicki, Ms. Roche, Mr. Cocuzza and Mr. Howard) together with all the Borough Employees and Volunteers have put forth such a magnificent effort in helping residents to find the resources they require to get the help that they need and are thankful to all those who have helped.

About KaBOOM!KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. 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. 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 because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,300 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 an office in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

About UnitedHealthcareUnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 780,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

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Copyright Business Wire 2010

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