Thursday, July 10, 2008

Atlanta-area Chrysler, Jeep(R) and Dodge Dealers Contribute to Atlanta's Plan to Build a Playscape for Every Child by 2010

PRNewswire -- More than 250 volunteers from Atlanta-area Chrysler, Jeep(R) and Dodge dealers, The Chrysler Foundation, Whitefoord Elementary School, the Whitefoord Community Program, residents of the Atlanta community and organizers from KaBOOM came together today to build a new playground at Whitefoord Elementary School.

This playground, which was designed by local children, is the first new playground at Whitefoord Elementary in many years and replaces existing equipment that was unsuitable for children to play on. The Atlanta-area Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealers spearheaded the build effort that will provide over 300 neighborhood children with a new, safe place to play.

"Every child should have access to a play area that is safe and encourages physical activity," said Steve Harris, President - Town & Country Dodge Chrysler Jeep. "This new playground, which was designed by local children and built by volunteers is a small part of our long-term commitment to the Atlanta community."

Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in May 2008. Local children and community leaders met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Chrysler to develop their "dream" playground. The children's drawings were used to create the final playground design.

"We are so excited to have this playground built at Whitefoord Elementary with the help of KaBOOM! and the Atlanta Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealers," said Patricia Lavant, Principal - Whitefoord Elementary School. "A playground represents what a school is all about. This playground says that Whitefoord Elementary School is a school with vibrant, energetic children ready to meet the educational challenges of the twenty first century."

The project is the fifth of 25 playgrounds scheduled to be built across the country this year by KaBOOM!, The Chrysler Foundation, Chrysler Financial and Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge dealerships and is expected to provide more than 30,000 children with a great place to play each year. The playground is also one of more than 225 builds KaBOOM! will lead across the country in 2008, in an effort to provide an enjoyable place to play within walking distance of every child in America.

"KaBOOM! is committed to bringing play back to the neighborhood one playground at a time," said Darell Hammond, CEO and Co-founder - KaBOOM!. "Every child deserves a place to run, jump, have fun and just be a kid. We are proud to work with Chrysler to give the children of Atlanta a great place to play."

Atlanta was selected in 2007 as one of 31 Playful City USA communities in the inaugural national recognition program, National Campaign for Play, administered by KaBOOM!. Playful City USA is a national recognition program honoring cities and towns across the nation committed to taking action for play. The city of Atlanta developed a three-year initiative titled "Atlanta: A Playspace for Every Child by 2010," that outlines steps to place a playground within reach of every child in Atlanta by the year 2010.

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