FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

KaBOOM! Announces Winners of Scary Playgrounds: Let’s Find ‘Em and Fix ‘Em Contest

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 31, 2011) — 

KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to saving play, is pleased to announce winners of its Scary Playgrounds: Let’s Find ‘Em & Fix ‘Em contest, which was launched in the spirit of Halloween and to advance its mission of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.

Our Grand Prize Winner Dan Watson submitted Ponderosa Park in Fredonia, Ariz. The playground, which is adjacent to the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indian Reservation had been forgotten for years, but is now going to get some much needed attention. Having found the scariest playground, Dan will receive a $2,000 VISA gift card.

Second place goes to Tricia Elisara who nominated what she calls the “Not So Special Education Playground” in Julian, Calif. because of its extremely poor condition. Tricia has plans for a multi-sensory playground and will receive a $1,000 VISA gift card.

Coming in third is Mandy Fisher of Garrison, Iowa, whose community park was destroyed by a 135 MPH windstorm last June. Mandy wants to bring their community park back to life and will receive a $500 VISA gift card.

Our seven $100 VISA gift card winners, in no particular order, are:

• Susie Dice of Tecumseh, Mich.
• Sarah Fong of Millis, Mass.
• Kris Wren of Portageville, Mo.
• Carrie Boyce of Santa Rosa, Calif.
• Lisa Crane of Wakefield, Mass.
• Scott Brandes & Michael Cleghorn of Jacksonville, Fla.
• Wendy Lee of Ramsey, Minn.

Winners were chosen by an expert panel from KaBOOM! and based on photographs and descriptions that each contestant submitted to our Map of Play using our free Scary Playgrounds app for iPhone or Android mobile devices. All contestants are encouraged to apply for a $15,000 KaBOOM! grant to help improve their scary playground.

“By simply entering the contest, contestants helped further our effort to create a nationwide Map of Play, bringing us one step closer to identifying playspaces that need fixing up and play deserts where there are no playgrounds at all,” says Darell Hammond, Founder and CEO of KaBOOM!  “Our goal is to make sure that every child in America has a great place to play. Once we map the playspaces – including the good, the bad and the scary – we can be more strategic as to where we target our resources.”

Children today are playing less than any previous generation, a fact that is causing them profound harm. A variety of research shows the power of play and the difference that unstructured play can make on the health and well-being of a child, yet only one-in-five children live within walking distance of a park or playground. Playgrounds across the country are in disrepair from years of neglect contributing significantly to our nation’s play deficit.

“We hope this contest helps raise awareness of the importance of play while also bringing a few more great places to play to kids across America,” says Hammond.

For more information or to speak to any of the contest winners, contact Stephanie Bowen at 202-464-6186.

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About KaBOOM!
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.