FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON D.C. (June 01, 2010) —
Thousands of children and families will receive great new places to play thanks to a grant from the Amgen Foundation to KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization making children and communities healthier by creating great places to play.
The Amgen Foundation grant will enable seven new playgrounds to be built across the U.S. and Puerto Rico by volunteers that are expected to provide more than 50,000 children and 28,000 families with a great place to play. In 2010, KaBOOM! will work with Amgen staff volunteers and others to build playgrounds in Cambridge, Mass., Juncos, Puerto Rico, Loveland, Colo., Providence, R.I., and Seattle as well as the San Francisco Bay Area and Ventura County in California.
"We’re absolutely thrilled to join forces with such a terrific organization like the Amgen Foundation,” KaBOOM! CEO & Co-Founder Darell Hammond said. “In making this grant to KaBOOM!, the Amgen Foundation is making a commitment to the well-being of children and we’re excited that KaBOOM! will move closer to our vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.”
KaBOOM!, a Washington D.C. based non-profit organization, has helped build more than 1,700 playgrounds, skateparks, ice rinks and sports fields across North America since its inception in 1996 via its innovative community-build model.
“The Amgen Foundation is excited to join with KaBOOM! not only to provide a safe place for children to play in communities where Amgen has a presence, but to also engage and inspire community leaders, schools and parents to take an active role in their neighborhoods,” said Jean Lim, president of the Amgen Foundation. “The KaBOOM! builds would also not be possible without the community and Amgen staff volunteers who come together to make a difference in their communities.”
The first playground build kicks off on June 5 when more than 500 volunteers will join efforts to build playgrounds in Providence and Seattle. In less than eight hours, volunteers will build child-designed playgrounds at Washington Park Community Center in Providence and Tiny Tots Development Center in Seattle.
On June 19, hundreds of volunteers will build a playground in a single day at the Cambridge Community Center, while volunteers will accomplish the feat again in Loveland on June 26 at the Orchard Place housing complex. Subsequent single-day playground builds are planned in Ventura County (August), the San Francisco Bay Area (September) and Juncos (December).
In all, more than 1,400 volunteers from Amgen and the surrounding communities will work together to build the seven playgrounds, moving more than 272,000 square feet of safety surfacing, mixing more than 140,000 pounds of concrete and adding more than 17,500 square feet of playspace in the process.
The 2010 playground projects follow a string of successful playground builds as Amgen and KaBOOM! partnered to build two playgrounds in 2008 and three playgrounds in 2009 across the country and in Puerto Rico.
About Amgen Foundation
The Amgen Foundation seeks to advance science education; improve patient access to quality care; and strengthen the communities where Amgen staff members live and work. Since 1991, the Foundation has made more than $140 million in grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Europe that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways, and those that provide disaster relief efforts internationally.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.5 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters, visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.