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Go Play!: Non-Profit Organization KaBOOM! Announces List of 93 “Playful City USA” Communities
Communities Across the Country Make Play a Priority Despite Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Parents have less disposable income for children’s play-related activities because of the economy and funding for Parks and Recreation departments nationwide continues to dwindle during a time when 82 percent of parents believe kids don’t spend enough time playing outside.

Despite these challenges, 93 communities across the nation have taken innovative approaches to make play a priority to ensure their children have the time and space they need to play. To honor cities and towns making this commitment to play, KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to bringing play back into children’s lives, named them Playful City USA communities.

In the third year of this annual program, 32 of 93 Playful City USA communities were repeat honorees from 2008, while 22 cities were cited for the third consecutive year. Thirty-nine new communities have joined others in making a commitment to children, including Honolulu, Indianapolis and San Antonio. These 93 communities created and implemented programs to positively impact childhood wellness, public safety and the quality of life.

Each of the 2009 Playful City USA communities demonstrated creative commitments to the cause of play in the areas of quantity, quality and access. Quality relates to the number of usable, open playspaces. Quality involves subjective factors that encourage repeated use and make playspaces engaging, exciting, interesting and fun. Access entails the ability to get to a playspace (roads, trails) and a lack of barriers to the playspace (cost, safety, traffic, locked gates, equity).

Playful City USA celebrates and highlights these unique initiatives developed by communities across the country. A primary goal of Playful City USA is to encourage cities and towns to share creative ideas, concepts and programs in an effort to increase play opportunities for children. City initiatives include:

QUANTITY

Dothan, Ala. (pop. 65,447)
After incorporating the KaBOOM! community build model for the construction of a playground, the City decided to use this method exclusively for any future playgrounds built in Dothan. The community build model offers a great opportunity to involve neighborhoods, while saving significant costs on construction.

Indianapolis, Ind. (pop. 795,458)
The Indianapolis Parks and Recreation department is conducting a study that would involve converting abandoned housing and vacant lots and turning them into urban mini parks. This project will require that city department resources are combined to increase green spaces and remove abandoned housing, identify clusters of abandoned houses and vacant lots, identify potential mini park spaces, and host public meetings that would solicit the surrounding neighborhoods’ advice on the usage of these spaces.

QUALITY

Las Cruces, N.M. (pop. 86,268)
Las Cruces Public Schools launched a free program called Recess Before Lunch in 2007 to examine what benefits could result. After implementing the program, moving recess before lunch led to a significant improvement in healthy eating habits for the students, a reduction in food waste, and better focus in the classroom after lunch.

San Francisco, Calif. (pop. 808,976)
The San Francisco Neighborhood Parks Council (SFNPC) developed a Playground Report Card which analyzes and rates playspaces in San Francisco. The Report Card gave letter grades to all the playgrounds, with the San Francisco Parks and Recreation department and SFNPC then taking action by bringing all the failing parks up to standard.

ACCESS

Ankeny, Iowa (pop. 42,000)
As part of the Ankeny Comprehensive plan, the highest priority of Ankeny residents was to build a trail system within the community that connects to a regional trail system. The Ankeny to Woodward Trail Steering Committee secured a $1.75 million Vision Iowa grant to develop the 20 miles of trail and construct one of the world’s tallest and longest trail bridges with the project scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2009.

New York, N.Y. (pop. 8,310,212)
The New York City Parks and Recreation Department will break ground and revamp 221 playgrounds that require improvement throughout the City, while also targeting underdeveloped destination parks for each borough in 2009. This City is also working toward the creation of a public plaza in every community in partnership with non-profit groups, particularly in neighborhoods that lack open space.

The KaBOOM! vision is a great place to play within walking distance of every child. Playful City USA communities create best practices, like the ones above, to reach a similar goal. They serve as role models for other communities and prove that enhancing children’s well-being by increasing the opportunity for play is an attainable goal for every community.

“Our country is facing two monumental deficits: a lack of unstructured play among children and a lack of resources to address this very issue,” said Darell Hammond, KaBOOM! CEO and Co-founder. “These 93 communities took a stand and determined that the future of their community—their children—deserve a commitment to the cause of play. This is an investment in the future, not an expenditure and cities and towns across the country can replicate initiatives from these Playful City USA communities so that they too can bring play back into the lives of their children.”

2009 Playful City USA Communities

Allentown, Pa.
*Ankeny, Iowa
Annapolis, Md.
#Arlington, Texas
*Atlanta, Ga.
Auburn, Wash.
Baldwin Park, Calif.
Bismarck, N.D.
#Bloomington, Ind.
#Brentwood, Calif.
Casa Grande, Ariz.
#Cerritos, Calif.
*Chandler, Ariz.
Columbia, Ill.
Columbus, Ohio
Commerce City, Colo.
#Coolidge, Ariz.
Coral Gables, Fla.
Corpus Christi, Texas
*Creedmoor, N.C.
#Danville, Va.
Delray Beach, Fla.
#DeRidder, La.
*Dothan, Ala.
Durham, N.C.
#Encinitas, Calif.
Euless, Texas
Evans, Colo.
#Findlay, Ohio
Fishers, Ind.
*Gilbert, Ariz.
#Grand Prairie, Texas
#Green River, Wyo.
*Greenbelt, Md.
Greensboro, N.C.
Greenville, N.C.
Hamilton, N.J.
#Henderson, Nevada
#Hernando, Miss.
Hilo, Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii
#Huntsville, Ala.
Indianapolis, Ind.
*Kenner, La.
*Kerman, Calif.
Killeen, Texas
#La Mesa, Calif.
*Lake Charles, La.
*Lake Worth, Fla.
#Landfall, Minn.
Laramie, Wyo.
Las Cruces, N.M.
#Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.
Laurel, Md.
*Longview, Wash.
#Mercer Island, Wash.
Mesa, Ariz.
Miami Lakes, Fla.
Missoula, Mont.
#Murray, Ky.
#Nampa, Idaho
*New Lenox, Ill.
New Port Richey, Fla.
*New Roads, La.
#New York City, N.Y.
Niagara Falls, N.Y.
*Norfolk, Va.
#Northglenn, Colo.
#Orlando, Fla.
#Palm Bay, Fla.
#Parkland, Fla.
*Phoenix, Ariz.
*Portsmouth, Ohio
Richmond, Ind.
#Riverside, Calif.
#Safety Harbor, Fla.
#St. Petersburg, Fla.
San Antonio, Texas
San Bernardino, Calif.
*San Francisco, Calif.
Sanford, N.C.
*Shirley, Mass.
*Spartanburg, S.C.
#Springdale, Ark.
Takoma Park, Md.
Tempe, Ariz.
Thornton, Colo.
*Tucson, Ariz.
#West Palm Beach, Fla.
Wichita, Kan.
#York, Pa.
#Yorkville, Ill.
*Yuma, Ariz.

* Three-time honoree
# Two-time honoree

2009 Playful City USA Communities by State:
12: Florida

9: Arizona, California

6: Texas

5: North Carolina

4: Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland

3: Illinois, Ohio, Washington

2: Alabama, Hawaii, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wyoming

1: Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina

Applications for 2010 Playful City USA recognition will be available beginning in the fall of 2009.

The KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, including the Playful City USA program, is made possible via the support of the Omidyar Network.

About KaBOOM!:
KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,600 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including an online community, free online trainings, grants, publications and the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, which includes Playful City USA and Playmakers – a national network of individual advocates for play. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

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Designed by kids, built by volunteers:
State Farm/State Farm Bayou Classic and KaBOOM!
team up to build new playground in just one day for New Orleans children at
Abramson Science & Technology Charter School

NEW ORLEANS – More than 200 volunteers from State Farm/State Farm Bayou Classic, organizers from KaBOOM! and residents of the New Orleans community will join forces on Friday, Nov. 28 to build a new, safe playground at the Abramson Science & Technology Charter School. The new playground’s design is based on drawings provided by children who attended a Design Day event in September.

The new playground will provide more than 400 children who attend the Abramson Science & Technology Charter School with a safe place to play. Currently, the children do not have a playground at the school to play on. The playspace is the third built by KaBOOM! and State Farm in conjunction with the State Farm Bayou Classic, and one of more than 215 KaBOOM! will lead across the country in 2008 in an effort to provide a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. The build is also part of Operation Playground – the KaBOOM! initiative to build playgrounds in areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"State Farm is committed to make our communities better. With that shared motivation, State Farm agents, employees, family members, and friends are involved in multiple service efforts to help revitalize communities along the Gulf," said State Farm Marketing Vice President Pam El. "We are enthused to work in collaboration with building projects like Habitat for Humanity. Likewise, State Farm is proud to sponsor the KaBOOM! playground build for the third year during the State Farm Bayou Classic weekend to help restore hope and fun for the children and families in this area.”

In addition to the new playground, the students will receive some education on build day. State Farm’s Neighborhood of Knowledge® will be set up on site for the children of the Abramson Science & Technology Charter School. Neighborhood of Knowledge® is a showcase of fun and education featuring educational coloring books, child I.D. kits and more.

The playground build will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a kickoff ceremony and will conclude at 2:30 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the playground. On hand to celebrate the new playground for children will be (LIST OF VIPS). More information can be found at www.statefarmbayouclassic.com.

Abramson Science and Technology Charter School/Recovery School District
Abramson Science and Technology Charter School is one of 66 schools in the Recovery School District. Created by legislation passed in 2003, the RSD is a special school district administered by the Louisiana.

State Farm/State Farm Bayou Classic
State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. State Farm's 17,000 agents and 68,000 employees serve more than 78 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and more than 1.9 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 32 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com® or in Canada statefarm.ca®.

KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,500 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including an online community, regional and national trainings, grants, publications and the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, which includes Playful City USA and the Playmaker Network – a national network of individual advocates for play. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

# # #


June 28 & 29, 11 am – 5 pm

Imaginative Foam Blocks of a Variety of Shapes and Sizes, Fabric, Tarps and Cardboard Nurture Fun, Imaginative Play

Queens, N.Y. – June 17, 2008 - Children of all ages are invited to play with hundreds of foam building blocks from Imagination Playground™, which nurtures creative play and is being planned for downtown New York City, when the Hall in the Anthony Viscusi Gallery at the New York Hall of Science is transformed into a giant playground for kids of all ages on June 28 and 29th between 11am and 5pm.  This event will feature over 265 blue foam blocks of different weights and sizes, which children will be able to build structures and sculptures, tear them down, and then start all over again.  They will also be able to integrate loose parts and found objects, including fabrics, tarps and reused cardboard, into the fun. 
 
The foam blocks, designed by the Rockwell Group, are part of the architecture and design firm’s Imagination Playground™ which is being built in Burling Slip near South Street Seaport, as well as in an abbreviated form in Brownsville, Brooklyn.  There are others being planned for the remaining boroughs of New York, and throughout the country. Rockwell Group first developed the design and concept for Imagination Playground™, which breaks ground this summer, to nurture creative play through a combination of loose parts, water and sand, creating an infinite number of creative play ideas and ensuring that no two visits to the play ground are ever the same. This type of design architecture allows for transformative, socio-cooperative and imaginative constructive play, which can evolve as children mature.

In partnership with KaBOOM!, the foremost national not for profit dedicated to bringing play back into the lives of children, Rockwell Group will also make their principles of unstructured free play available to any community around the country with Imagination Playground™ in a BOX.  This semi-mobile kit of parts, featuring an array of loose parts, can adapt to many different site conditions such as parks, child care environments and school settings. When Imagination Playground™ in a BOX opens, it will immediately activate the environment around it, creating a playground configured by children’s play, and evolving as the community of children changes throughout the day. The first Imagination Playground™ in a BOX will be in Brownsville, Brooklyn, July 9th through Labor Day, but children will have a preview of the loose parts, including the foam building blocks that make up the kit at the New York Hall of Science!

The Imagination Playground™ Play Event will be at the Hall of Science on Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and 29, from 11 am – 5 pm in the Anthony Viscusi Gallery. The event is free with general Hall admission.

Founded over 20 years ago by David Rockwell, Rockwell Group is an award winning, cross-disciplinary 250-person architecture and design practice based in New York. Rockwell Group specializes in hospitality, culture, theater and film design.  Commissions include the Elinor Bunin Film Center at Lincoln Center; a series of public school libraries for the Robin Hood Foundation’s Library Initiative, the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore; interior work and brand conceptualization of the JetBlue Airways terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport; Chambers hotel and Town restaurant (New York); W New York and W Union Square; the Kodak Theatre, home of the Academy Awards ceremony (Los Angeles); the Broadway musicals “Hairspray,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” and “Legally Blonde”; the World Trade Center Viewing Platform; and numerous restaurants around the world including Nobu Fifty Seven, Country, Bar American; Nobu (Hong Kong, Dallas, Dubai), Xen in Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills, and Gordon Ramsay’s Maze (London).  His monograph, Pleasure: The Architecture and Design of Rockwell Group, was published by Universe, a division of Rizzoli Books in 2002.  Spectacle, a book with Bruce Mau, was published by Phaidon Press in October 2006.

The New York Hall of Science is New York City’s hands-on science and technology center. More than 400 interactive exhibits explore the wonder and excitement of biology, chemistry and physics. Admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children (ages 2-17), college students with valid ID, and seniors (62+). For hours, directions, and other information, please visit www.nyscience.org or call 718.699.0005.

KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.  Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,400 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America.  KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including an online community, regional and national trainings, grants, publications and the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, which includes Playful City USA and the Playmaker Network – a national network of individual advocates for play.  Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago, Atlanta and San Mateo, Calif.   www.kaboom.org.

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American Institute for Public Service
100 West 10th Street, Suite 215
Wilmington, DE 19801-1665

Contact:
Jonathan Peters
National Director
(302) 295-0532
j.peters@jeffersonawards.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Darell Hammond to Receive 2008 National Jefferson Award

WASHINGTON D.C., - Darell Hammond will receive the Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 7 p.m. in East Hall, Union Station.  Selected by the Jefferson Awards’ prestigious board of selectors, Darell was chosen for a 2008 Jefferson Award for his advocacy on issues concerning children and community redevelopment.

Darell grew up with seven brothers and sisters at Mooseheart, a group home outside of Chicago.  At Mooseheart, Darell witnessed first hand the amazing contribution volunteers could make in the life of a child and decided to dedicate himself to volunteer service.

In August 1995, shortly after moving to Washington, D.C., 24-year-old Darell Hammond read a story in the Washington Post about two local children who suffocated in an abandoned car because they didn’t have anywhere else to play. Darell, who had previously helped build several playgrounds for other organizations, realized this tragedy could have been prevented and started KaBOOM!, a national non-profit that empowers communities to build playgrounds.  KaBOOM! organizes communities and provides them with an achievable win by leading them in building a playground in one day using all-volunteer labor.  Once communities have completed a KaBOOM!-led playground build, they’re able to take the knowledge they’ve gained from the process to take on other projects.  Since its inception in 1995, KaBOOM! has raised more than $100 million and rallied more than 241,000 volunteers to support the cause of play.

Today, KaBOOM! is recognized as a leader among social entrepreneurial organizations and Darell has become a well-known spokesperson for the cause of play. KaBOOM! and Darell have won numerous awards for national service, innovation and leadership including:  Honorary Doctorate, Ripon College; Children's Mental Health Award, NARSAD; President's Volunteer Service Award; Power and Influence Top 50, non-profit Times; Washingtonian of the Year, Washingtonian magazine; 40 under 40, Crain's Chicago Business ; and the Making a Difference Award, Diet Coke.

In addition to his work with KaBOOM!, Darell serves on the Board of Directors of Independent Sector and Hands on Network and in 2003 was elected as an Ashoka Fellow for being a leader in social entrepreneurship.  

ABOUT THE JEFFERSON AWARDS

In 1972, the Jefferson Awards for Public Service were founded by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard to create a Nobel Prize for public and community service. The Jefferson Awards are presented on two levels: national and local. National award recipients are a “Who’s Who” of American history makers. Four Supreme Court Justices have been honored including Thurgood Marshall and Sandra Day O’Connor; seven Secretaries of State including Cyrus Vance and Colin Powell; three first ladies: Barbara Bush, Rosalyn Carter and Betty Ford; as well as Alan Greenspan, Bob Hope and Lance Armstrong, among over 100 others.

Through Jefferson Awards Champions, the Jefferson Awards honors outstanding employees and retirees who volunteer.  We currently work with nearly 30 organizations across America on the Champions program.   Through the Jefferson Awards Media Partners we honor grassroots unsung heroes.   Working together with 135 Media Partners in 76 DMA’s we honor these unsung heroes all across America.   Through the Jefferson Awards Youth Service Initiative we are working in America’s High Schools to double student volunteerism in America. 


KaBOOM! builds 100th playground in the Gulf
"Operation Playground" initiative provides a great place to play for 49,605 children from Houston to Mobile

After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast, KaBOOM!, the national non-profit that empowers communities to build playgrounds, made a commitment to build 100 playgrounds in the areas hardest hit by the storms. On June 14th, in Bay St. Louis Miss., KaBOOM! will reach this goal.

"When KaBOOM! began Operation Playground just three months after Hurricane Katrina struck, those outside the area were incredulous, believing that playgrounds were the last thing people needed in the midst of the devastation," said Darell Hammond, CEO and Co-founder, KaBOOM! "But we knew that the Gulf Coast's youngest residents needed safe places to escape the stress of the rebuilding effort and reclaim their childhood."

On Dec. 17, 2005, more than 600 residents and other volunteers came together at Carol Vegas Park in Bay St. Louis, Miss., to build a new playground, the first new permanent structure constructed in the town since Hurricane Katrina. Some wanted to give their kids a safe place to go while they re-built their homes; some remembered the aftermath of Hurricane Camille in 1969 and said they wanted to make sure local children had a place to heal emotionally; and others came out to take action and to be a part of the rebuilding process. On that day, and 98 other days just like it, volunteers transformed an empty lot into a great place to play in just one day.

Following the first build, KaBOOM! and its partners worked with community organizations to build playgrounds in cities from Houston to Mobile. With the generous support of funders such as Jim and Donna Barksdale, The Home Depot, Playworld Systems Inc., Fannie Mae, NBA Cares, the DJR Foundation, AmeriCares, ESPN and ING DIRECT, KaBOOM! has channeled $8.2 million into the area and mobilized more than 21,399 volunteers. Thirty-nine playgrounds were built in New Orleans alone, with 37 across the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.

On June 14th, KaBOOM! is returning to Bay St. Louis and will lead our 100th Operation Playground project at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park. Like all KaBOOM! projects, the process started off with a Design Day where neighborhood children gathered to draw their dream playground. For this build, their pictures included everything from a slide, to a basketball court to a Ferris wheel.

"While their parents took their ideas into consideration, the Ferris wheel didn't make the cut," said Hammond. The new playground at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park will serve 2,000 children from ages 2-12 and is in an area where 97% of the children qualify for free or reduced price lunch.

"This playground will give these neighborhood kids a great place to play everyday. We also need to use victories like our 100th build to thank our committed sponsors and to draw national attention to the ongoing needs of those living in the Gulf," said Hammond. "KaBOOM! and our sponsors will continue to build in the area for as long as there's a need. We've already scheduled our 101st and 102nd playground builds on June 28th, and we have projects scheduled through December."

The 100th and 101st playgrounds are two of seventeen playgrounds made possible by a partnership between KaBOOM! and the Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Fannie Mae, and the Foundation for the Mid South.

KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,400 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including an online community, regional and national trainings, grants, publications and the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, which includes Playful City USA and the Playmaker Network – a national network of individual advocates for play. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.


FROM: Rockwell Group

CONTACTS:

Rachel Carr, 212/685-4300
Dan Klores Communications for Rockwell Group

Alison Risso, 202/464-6186
KaBOOM!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ARCHITECT DAVID ROCKWELL & KaBOOM! COLLABORATE ON NEW GENERATION OF "FREE PLAY" SPACES TO BE BUILT ACROSS THE U.S.

Anticipate Over 1,000 Imagination Playground™s Across the Country Within Five Years

Partnership to Encourage Play and Creativity – First "Playground in a Box" to be Installed In Brownsville, Brooklyn

May 5, 2008 (New York, NY) – Architect David Rockwell of Rockwell Group and KaBOOM!, the foremost national not for profit dedicated to bringing play back into the lives of children, today announced a partnership to develop and implement a new generation of playspaces across the United States, based on the play value concepts of Imagination Playground™, the Rockwell Group's design for a playground in lower Manhattan.

The Rockwell Group created Imagination Playground™, which will break ground this summer, to embody the concept of unstructured, child directed "free play," where children direct their own activities, alone and with their peers. The Rockwell Group has worked closely with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation on the initiative.

"We have always hoped to make the Imagination Playground™ concept available to communities nationwide," said David Rockwell, founder and CEO of Rockwell Group. "We could not be more thankful to KaBOOM! for helping make that dream a reality."

KaBOOM! has spent 12 years building playspaces using a community build model, where they partner with corporations, foundations and private donors. Creating opportunities and tools for building playgrounds, KaBOOM! will extend their play platform by incorporating the Imagination Playground™ model into an expandable collection of its trademark parts to supplement existing playgrounds and form the basis for new playspaces.

"KaBOOM! believes that play is a matter of national importance. We can't wait to bring some of the most innovative, yet old-fashioned concepts in play back to children across the country. By adding sand, water, loose parts, and play associates to what KaBOOM! already offers, we're going to revolutionize your neighborhood playground," said Darell Hammond, co-founder and CEO of KaBOOM!

Rockwell Group has designed three scalable and expandable playgrounds that include elements of Imagination Playground™. They can be installed in existing parks and play areas or newly developed ones, taking into account site, budget, logistics, and available supervision. Rockwell Group and KaBOOM! will also develop Imagination Playground™ "free play" education and advocacy tools and channels.

The three playground designs are described below. Each utilizes loose parts, designed by Rockwell Group, and found parts, along with sand and water, to create a unique playspace for children.

  • Imagination Playground™ Site Specific – a fixed playground unique to a site (like the one designed for Burling Slip near the South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan).
  • Imagination Playground™ in a Big Box – Fitted out shipping container containing a variety of loose parts as an anchor for new playground development. The container can be landscaped into an existing or new site.
  • Imagination Playground™ in a Box – a metal box on wheels containing a variety of loose parts, blocks and found items. Imagination Playground™ in a box can be layered into existing playgrounds as well as used in schools (indoors/outdoors), apartment complexes, street fairs, summer camps, hospitals, airports, and emergency settings.

The first Imagination Playground™ in a Box will open in Brownsville, Brooklyn this summer. KaBOOM! is sponsoring the playground, its first in New York City.

KaBOOM! will also look to incorporate Imagination Playground™ into existing playground builds they have planned, allowing children to play in diverse and creative ways in an environment that can be manipulated. KaBOOM! builds more than 230 playgrounds a year. They work with local community groups to design and build the playground from scratch. Since their founding in 1995, they have raised more than $100 million to build 1,400 playgounds in cities across North America, which serve more than 3 million children.

Imagination Playground™ is designed to allow kids to use their creativity to play freely with loose and found parts, and other equipment, rather than prescribed activities. In its place are the raw materials of creativity and sensory exploration, such as sand and water, as well as play props, including building blocks, buckets, shovels, wheelbarrows, and other safe tools that facilitate children's play. These elements will enable children to play in an intuitive way: build something, tear it down, and start all over again.

Rockwell Group is an award winning, cross-disciplinary 250-person architecture and design practice founded by David Rockwell. Based in New York City, Rockwell Group specializes in hospitality, cultural, healthcare, theater and film design. Recent commissions include the Children's Hospital at Montefiore, the Elinor Bunin-Munroe Film Center, the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame at the Time Warner Center; Town restaurant and Chambers hotel (New York City); W New York and W Union Square (New York City); the renovation of the FAO Schwarz Flagship on Fifth Avenue; Cirque du Soleil (Orlando, Florida); the Broadway musicals "Hairspray" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels"; the Academy Awards' Kodak Theatre; and numerous restaurants located internationally including New York restaurants Nobu Fifty Seven, Country, Bar Americain, as well as Gordon Ramsay's Maze in London and Roppongi Hills in Tokyo.

KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,400 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including an online community, regional and national trainings, grants, publications and the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, which includes Playful City USA and the Playmaker Network – a national network of individual advocates for play. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago, Atlanta and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.


CEO and Co-founder Darell Hammond to Accept Award at NARSAD's 20th Anniversary Gala in New York on October 19th

GREAT NECK, N.Y., Oct. 9, 2007 — KaBOOM!, the Washington, D.C.-based charity dedicated to the creation of great places to play for children in neighborhoods across America, will be honored on October 19th by NARSAD, the world's leading charity dedicated to mental health research.

NARSAD will present KaBOOM! CEO and co-founder, Darell Hammond, with NARSAD's first-ever Children's Mental Health Award. The occasion is NARSAD's annual New York gala awards dinner, when the organization will also present its annual prizes for outstanding achievements in research. This year's gala marks NARSAD's 20th year of grantmaking and is dedicated to the cause of childhood mental health.

"Our goal this year is to focus public attention on the efforts of great scientists, many of whom we fund, to discover the causes and to develop effective treatments for mental illnesses which strike the youngest people of our society," said Geoff Birkett, NARSAD's president and CEO. "We think it is fitting to recognize KaBOOM! for all of the incredible work it's been doing over a decade's time to create great and wholesome places for kids to congregate and play."

"Healthy play promotes sound mental development in a variety of ways that scientists have carefully documented," commented Stephen Doochin, NARSAD's executive vice president. "For this reason, the KaBOOM! mission and NARSAD's mission intersect and support one another in constructive ways. We salute KaBOOM! and Darell Hammond for creating 1,300 play spaces, and for the love of children and the concern for childhood development that their work represents."

NARSAD's New York City gala takes place Friday evening, Oct. 19th, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, 301 Park Avenue at 49th Street, in Manhattan, with cocktails beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony, dinner and dancing. Tickets are available by calling NARSAD at 516-829-0091 or 800-829-8289.

Since 1987, NARSAD has made over 3,200 grants totaling more than $219 million to top scientists at 418 institutions in the U.S. and 26 other countries, whose research has focused on all forms of severe psychiatric illnesses, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, childhood mental disorders and other adult and childhood conditions.

KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Now in its 12th year, KaBOOM! rallies communities to achieve better public policy, funding and public awareness for increased play opportunities nationwide; provides resources, including trainings, challenge grants, and publications for communities that wish to plan a new play space on their own; and brings together children, business and community interests for a select number of community play space builds each year. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago, Atlanta and San Mateo, Calif.


Washington, D.C., October 12, 2006 – KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America, unveiled the newest resource in play yesterday at the 2006 NRPA Conference – The KaBOOM! Playspace Finder. The Playspace Finder is the first nationwide user-generated online directory of playspaces (including playgrounds, skate parks, fields and ice rinks) in the United States. By utilizing reviews from the ultimate consumers of playspaces— including kids and families—the Finder will serve as an online marketplace of ideas about the location, condition, and “play value” of our nation’s parks.

Located on the KaBOOM! website (www.kaboom.org), the Playspace Finder is an interactive tool that allows anyone to submit information and rate their local playspaces. The directory then gives other users the ability to locate, read reviews and add additional ratings for a playspace in any neighborhood in the country. The Playspace Finder includes the ability to add photos and comments for each playspace, as well as a detailed description of the playspace, including the playground equipment or amenities that surround the space.

KaBOOM! developed the Playspace Finder in response to the lack of national resources in locating great places to play and to encourage active, unstructured outdoor play for children across the nation.

“Play is a vital component of a child’s life, contributing to their physical, emotional, mental and social development. In light of our work and our vision, we felt it was our duty to provide a resource for locating great places to play. However, the success of this project relies upon people across the country providing data and reviews about their parks. So, get out to a park and play, but then come back and tell everyone about your experience—good or bad,” said Darell Hammond, CEO and Co-Founder of KaBOOM!.

To learn more about the Playspace Finder visit www.kaboom.org.

About KaBOOM!
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2006, KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Over the past decade, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct over 1,000 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including a Web portal and online community, regional and national trainings, grants and publications for communities that wish to plan a new playspace on their own. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago, Atlanta and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org or call (202) 659-0215.

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The Cause Marketing Forum Recognizes KaBOOM! and The Home Depot for Continued Community Successes and Partner Commitments Based on a Decade of Working Together

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 14, 2006 – Partners since 1996 with the goal of building and refurbishing playspaces across North America, KaBOOM! and The Home Depot® were honored with the 2006 Golden Halo Award today during the 4th Annual Cause Marketing Forum conference in New York City. The Cause Marketing Halo Award is America’s highest honor for companies and organizations that give back to the community through creative and effective cause marketing campaigns.

The award recognizes KaBOOM! and The Home Depot for their long term, high impact partnership that has positively affected the lives of thousands of children and communities across North America. Illustrating their commitment, the organizations recently launched an unprecedented community initiative to create and refurbish 1,000 playspaces in 1,000 days. The Home Depot is investing $25 million and nearly 1 million volunteer hours in support of this three-year program, which is expected to benefit 1.5 million parents and children.

"The Cause Marketing Halo Awards demonstrate the good that can be done when businesses and nonprofits team up," said David Hessekiel, president of Cause Marketing Forum, Inc., the program's organizer. "It's a competition in which we all win."

“With The Home Depot’s support, every day we are closer to making our vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America a reality. This award not only recognizes the incredible role The Home Depot plays in that effort, but also the example they set as a leader in corporate philanthropy,” said Darell Hammond, CEO and co-founder of KaBOOM!.

KaBOOM! and The Home Depot have worked together over the last 10 years to develop a community-build model that encourages civic leadership and revitalizes communities through creating great playspaces for children. With The Home Depot’s financial and volunteer support, the partnership has mobilized more than 40,000 volunteers to build or improve more than 500 community playgrounds, skateparks and sports fields across North America.

“We are honored to receive this recognition and will continue to celebrate our commitment to volunteerism as we work with KaBOOM! to complete more than 500 playspaces by the end of the year,” said Brad Shaw, senior vice president of Corporate Communications & External Affairs of The Home Depot. “Through this partnership, we have been able to connect with communities in a truly meaningful way and build on what is already a fundamental part of our culture – giving back to the communities where we live and work.”

In August, KaBOOM! and The Home Depot will partner with Playworld Systems and Hands on Network to build 10 playgrounds in the Gulf Coast region during the week of the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall. The week-long effort is part of Operation Playground, a two-year KaBOOM! initiative to build 100 playgrounds in Gulf Coast communities affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

In addition to receiving the award, Hammond and Shaw were featured speakers at the conference and delivered addresses on corporate service and cause marketing partnerships.

KaBOOM! and The Home Depot were selected as this year’s winners by an interdisciplinary panel of cause marketing experts based on conceptual strength, execution, business results and cause results. As winners of the 4th annual Cause Marketing Forum Golden Halo Awards, the organizations will be highlighted in a special section of Advertising Age magazine.

About KaBOOM!
Celebrating its 10 year anniversary in 2006, KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Over the past decade, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct nearly 1,000 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including a Web portal and online community, regional and national trainings, grants and publications for communities that wish to plan a new playspace on their own. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago, Atlanta and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

About The Home Depot
The Home Depot® is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,065 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. Through its HD SupplySM businesses, The Home Depot is also one of the largest diversified wholesale distributors in the United States, with more than 900 locations in the United States and Canada offering products and services for building, improving and maintaining homes, businesses and municipal infrastructures. In fiscal 2005, The Home Depot had sales of $81.5 billion and earnings of $5.8 billion. The Company employs approximately 355,000 associates and has been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as the No. 1 Most Admired Specialty Retailer and the No. 13 Most Admired Corporation in America for 2006. The Home Depot’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index.

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Nonprofit presented The Directors Award on National Corporate Philanthropy Day by the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy

Washington, D.C. February 27, 2006 -- The Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) recognized KaBOOM! and The Home Depot with its Directors Award today for a high impact partnership that positively changes the lives of children and communities across North America. The CECP Directors Award recognizes a nonprofit organization that has distinguished itself by building an effective partnership with a corporation in its community. KaBOOM! and The Home Depot have worked together over the last 10 years to develop a community-build model that encourages civic leadership and revitalizes communities through creating great playspaces for children. The partnership has mobilized more than 40,000 volunteers to build or improve more than 500 community playgrounds, skateparks and sports fields across North America.

KaBOOM! CEO and Co-Founder Darell Hammond and The Home Depot Chairman, President & CEO Bob Nardelli were on hand at the CECP Excellence Awards Luncheon in New York City to accept the award. “We are honored to receive this Excellence Award from the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy. This award is about more than just our ability to create positive change in the lives of children and communities, however. It is also a testament to the vision and generosity of one of America's great companies, The Home Depot, its associates and its CEO, Bob Nardelli,” said Hammond.

“With their incredible support, we can make our vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America become a reality. I salute The Home Depot for its dedication and commitment and thank its associates on behalf of our board, employees and the thousands of children whose lives are filled with laughter and imagination,” Hammond added.

In 2005, KaBOOM! and The Home Depot launched an unprecedented initiative to create and refurbish 1,000 playspaces in 1,000 days throughout North America. The Home Depot is investing $25 million and nearly 1 million volunteer hours in support of this three-year program, which is expected to benefit 1.5 million parents and children.

“Having built and restored more than 400 playgrounds together with KaBOOM! over the past 10 years, we have seen firsthand how important playgrounds are to the development of our children and the communities,” said Nardelli. “Led by dedicated Team Depot volunteers, our 345,000 associates are committed to improving the areas in which we live and work.”

The 2005 Excellence Awards Jury Selection Committee was composed of distinguished experts from the corporate, nonprofit, media and academic communities.

“The common thread of this year’s award-winning applicants is CEO leadership,” said Charles Moore, executive director of CECP. “Employees at our winning companies, both corporate and nonprofit, have responded to the philanthropic mandate of their CEOs, who present an innovative vision of social awareness aligned with corporate America’s business needs and objectives.”

In addition to the Excellence in Corporate Philanthropy Awards luncheon, several other celebratory events were held to mark National Corporate Philanthropy Day, including the ringing of the NYSE opening bell by the Excellence Award winners.

About CECP
The Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) is the only national forum of business CEOs and Chairpersons with an agenda exclusively focused on corporate philanthropy. The Committee's mission is to raise the level and quality of strategic corporate giving nationally and globally by identifying, educating, promoting, and recognizing best practices and measurements of corporate philanthropy. CECP's members embrace and encourage other business leaders to promote the case for corporate philanthropy. For more information, visit corphilanthropy.org.

About KaBOOM!
Celebrating its ten year anniversary in 2006, KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Over the past decade, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct nearly 1,000 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including a web portal and online community, regional and national trainings, grants and publications for communities that wish to plan a new playspace on their own. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago, Atlanta and San Mateo, CA. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

About The Home Depot
Founded in 1978, The Home Depot® is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer and the second largest retailer in the United States, with fiscal 2005 sales of $81.5 billion. The Company employs approximately 345,000 associates and has 2,051 stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. Through its Home Depot Supply division, the Company operates one of the nation’s largest diversified wholesale distributors with operations in 41 states and Canada. The Home Depot has been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as the No. 1 Most Admired Specialty Retailer and the No. 13 Most Admired Corporation in America for 2006. Its stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index.

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