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Print

BCBSIL, Villiage of University Park and KaBoom! to Build Playground in Just One Day for Children

July 28, 2012

What

More than 200 volunteers from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and the Lots of Love Community Center, organizers from KaBOOM! and residents of the Auburn-Gresham community will join forces on Saturday, June 23 to build the 100th KaBOOM! playground in Chicago. The new playground's design is based on drawings created by children who participated in a Design Day event in May.

Why

Today’s kids spend less time playing outside than any previous generation in part because only 1-in-5 children live within walking distance of a park or playground. This play deficit is having profound consequences for kids physically, socially and cognitively. Children need a place to play every day in order to be active and healthy, something KaBOOM! has been committed to since 1996.

The new playground will provide nearly 1,000 children in the University Park community with a safe place to play every year. Currently, the existing playground at Craig Park is nearly 20 years old and in need of replacement.

The playground is the 14th built by KaBOOM! and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and one of more than 150 playground builds KaBOOM! will lead across the country in 2012. The project is part of “Healthy Kids, Healthy Families,” a three-year initiative designed to improve the health and wellness of children through community investments by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. “Healthy Kids, Healthy Families” invests in non-profit organizations that encourage health education, promote physical activity, prevent and manage disease, and support safe environments for children.

When


Saturday, July 28
8:30 a.m. to 9:00a.m.Kick off ceremony and volunteer deployment
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.Best viewing of playground construction
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.Final construction phase and adjustments
2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.Ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate new play area
(Note: all times approximate)

Where

Craig Park
631 Sandra Dr
University Park, IL 60484

Who

Hundreds of volunteers from the community

Visuals

Before and after shots of the site
Volunteers assembling brightly colored playground equipment
Volunteers moving 43,740 square feet of safety surfacing by hand
Ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the playground

Village of University Park
The Village of University Park is growing and currently has just over 7,000 residents. It is home to an Industrial Park, with over 70 manufacturing and service businesses. It is also the site of Governors State University, which becomes a 4-year institution starting in 2014.

Heritage/Craig Park was rebuilt in 1996. It is centrally located and very popular with the children of the Village of University Park. Heavy usage has resulted in a dire need for new equipment, including swings, slides and other equipment. In addition, today’s youth need to be engaged in positive, physical activity.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
With more than 7 million members, BCBSIL, a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, is the largest health insurance company in Illinois. Started in 1936, BCBSIL is committed to promoting the health and wellness of its members and its communities through accessible, cost-effective, quality health care.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Families
"Healthy Kids, Healthy Families" is a three-year initiative designed to encourage health education, promote physical activity, prevent and manage disease, and support safe environments for children. The program works through investments and partnerships with nonprofit organizations that offer sustainable, measurable programs to reach children directly, through schools and other third parties. Major founding partners include The OrganWise Guys, KaBOOM! and mobile health vans. The program is supported by Health Care Service Corporation and its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. For more information or to seek partnership and funding opportunities, please visit www.HealthyKidsHealthyFamilies.org .

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! in 1996 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 89,000 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 www.kaboom.org .