FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

24 Hour Fitness and KaBOOM! Team Up to Build Playgrounds for Houston Children

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24 Hour Fitness, the largest privately-owned U.S. fitness chain and a health club industry pioneer, and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to bringing play back into the lives of children, are teaming up to build new playgrounds in Houston communities impacted by Hurricane Ike. The partnership will help children in the region get fit and stay healthy while aiding communities that are recovering from the storm.

Throughout the month of October, 24 Hour Fitness will donate $1 from the monthly dues of Houston area members to KaBOOM! to help build the playgrounds. 24 Hour Fitness team members will join members and community volunteers to build the first playground on December 13, with a second playground to be built in early 2009. Locations for both playgrounds will be announced at a later date. 24 Hour Fitness club members will also be invited to donate through an in-club fundraising campaign, with all proceeds going to KaBOOM!.

“24 Hour Fitness is part of the Houston community and we want to ensure that kids in these neighborhoods have a place where they can just be kids again,” said 24 Hour Fitness CEO Carl Liebert. “Physical fitness and staying active can help change a person’s life and we hope that bringing these playgrounds back to the region will help families recover from this disaster.”

“KaBOOM! knows that disasters such as Hurricane Ike affect everyone, especially kids, who depend on peaceful, familiar routines to keep them feeling safe and secure,” said Darell Hammond, CEO and co-founder of KaBOOM!. “As we’ve seen with the playgrounds we’ve built in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, playgrounds give kids a great way to stay mentally and physically healthy when the rest of the world around them is chaotic.”

KaBOOM! is also calling on Houston-area residents and organizations to document playgrounds damaged by the storm on the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder, at http://playspacefinder.kaboom.org. As the damaged playgrounds are added to the online database, KaBOOM! will work to recruit supporters in the region to help clean-up and repair those playspaces that need attention.

About KABOOM!
KABOOM! is the national non-profit that works to achieve playspace equity. Kids who don’t have access to play miss out on childhood and are denied critical opportunities to build physical, social and emotional health. And all too often, it more deeply affects communities of color. So we amplify the power of communities to build inspiring playspaces that spark unlimited opportunities for every kid, everywhere. KABOOM! has teamed up with partners to build or improve 17,000+ playspaces, engage more than 1.5 million community members and bring joy to more than 11 million kids. To learn about our goal to end playspace inequity for good, visit kaboom.org and join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom, facebook.com/kaboom, and instagram.com/kaboom.