FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 25, 2011) —
Darell Hammond, Founder & CEO of national non-profit KaBOOM!, was awarded the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts to save play for America’s children.
Hammond accepted the award from PCFSN Executive Director Shellie Pfohl in Washington D.C. Tuesday evening. Pfohl commended Hammond for the strength of his commitment to helping children gain the valuable access they need to play. Additionally, Pfohl attributed Hammond’s leadership in bringing national attention to the issue of recreation and play deserts as an important effort that has galvanized so many communities to take action across the country.
The PCFSN Lifetime Achievement Award is given out annually to five or fewer individuals whose careers have greatly contributed to the advancement or promotion of physical activity, fitness, sports, or nutrition nationwide.
“I am truly humbled to receive this tremendous honor from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition,” said Hammond. “This recognition is an affirmation of the work being done for 15 years by KaBOOM! to save play for our children by eliminating the harmful Play Deficit. This award is further proof demonstrating that we are dispelling the notion that play among children is a luxury when, in fact, it’s an absolute necessity.”
Previous winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award include fitness icon Jack LaLanne, aerobics pioneer Ken Cooper and fitness publisher Joe Weider.
Hammond was selected based on the span and scope of his career and the estimated number of lives affected by his work. In 1996, Hammond founded KaBOOM! after reading a story in the Washington Post about two children who suffocated while playing in a car because they did not have a safe place to play.
Since founding KaBOOM!, Hammond has raised more than $200 million to fight the Play Deficit and save play for America’s children by ensuring that every child has a great place to play within walking distance. Under Hammond’s guidance, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to build nearly 2,000 playspaces across North America that serve more than 3.5 million children.
KaBOOM! also open-sources its playground-building knowledge for free on its website – kaboom.org – and has inspired the construction of thousands of additional playspaces. Additional KaBOOM! initiatives include Playful City USA, which recognizes cities and towns across the country committed to the well-being of children, and Play Days, a nation-wide effort to get children and families outside in September.
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.