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


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 together!

Play is the business of childhood and is essential to the physical, cognitive, creative, social and emotional development of every kid. Its how kids build strong muscles and healthy bodies; its how they learn problem-solving, conflict resolution and creativity; its how they make friends and build strong bonds with adults. Play is critical to a kids 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 areas 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 regions 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 states 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

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 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 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 and join the conversation at, and #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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