6/20/2012 - Connecticut Community Foundation, American Heart Association, City of Waterbury And KaBOOM! To Build Playground In Just One Day For Children




WHAT: More than 200 volunteers from The Connecticut Community Foundation, the American Heart Association, the City of Waterbury, organizers from KaBOOM! and residents of the local community will join forces on Saturday, June 23 to build a new playground at Chase Park. The new playground’s design is based on drawings created by children who participated in a Design Day event in April.   

WHY: Today’s kids spend less time playing outside than any previous generation in part because only 1-in-5 children live within walking distance of a park or playground. This play deficit is having profound consequences for kids physically, socially and cognitively. Children need a place to play every day in order to be active and healthy, something KaBOOM! has been committed to since 1996.

The new playground will provide more than 2,500 children in the Waterbury community with a safe place to play. Currently, the playground equipment used by children at Chase Park is 50 years old and in need of replacement.

The playground will be the first built by KaBOOM!, the Connecticut Community Foundation and the American Heart Association. The project is also one of more than 150 playground builds KaBOOM! will lead across the country in 2012 in an effort to provide a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. 

WHEN: Saturday, June 23
 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Kick off ceremony and volunteer deployment
 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Best viewing of playground construction
 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Final construction phase and adjustments
 2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate new play area
 (Note: all times approximate)

WHERE: Chase Park
150 Sunnyside Avenue
Waterbury, CT  06708
WHO: Waterbury Mayor, Neil M. O’Leary; District 16 State Senator Joe Markley; Paula Van Ness, president & CEO, Connecticut Community Foundation; Hundreds of volunteers from the community

VISUALS: Before and after shots of the site
Volunteers assembling brightly colored playground equipment
Volunteers moving 43,740 square feet of safety surfacing by hand
Ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the playground

City of Waterbury
Waterbury, the fifth largest city in Connecticut, is the home of 110,360 (2010 census) citizens of diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. Conveniently located at the junction of Routes 8 and 84, the city was once known as the "Brass City" because of its long history as the center of the nation's brass industry. Today, Waterbury is known for its advanced technology capabilities, historic architecture and facades, and most importantly, its strong communities and neighborhoods! For more information, visit

About the Margaret M. Hallden Fund at the Connecticut Community Foundation
In 1984, the Connecticut Community Foundation received a bequest from Margaret M. Hallden, wife of Karl W. Hallden who founded the Hallden Machine Co. in Thomaston. In her will, Mrs. Hallden requested that the yearly distributions from the Margaret M. Hallden Fund be equally divided between the local chapters of the American Heart Association and American Cancer Society. Since 1984, the Margaret M. Hallden Fund has provided more than $3.5 million to support heart and cancer care in Greater Waterbury. For more information, go to

American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. To fight this play deficit, social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 89,000 places to play, built more than 2,000 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit

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