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WHAT:               Amway and organizers from KaBOOM! will host a design day for children at the D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s Home on Tuesday, April 3. Children from the Home will put crayon to paper and draw their dream playgrounds, which will ultimately become a reality. Elements from the children’s drawings will be incorporated into the final design for the new community playground to be built on June 8 at the Home. Design day will also be the first meeting of the playground planning committee that will work for the next eight weeks to plan and prepare for the construction of the new playground.
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, emotionally 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 the children of St. John’s Home with a safe place to play. Currently, the children served by D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s Home do not have a playground at the site and there are no others within walking distance for children.
                            The playground will be the 14th built by KaBOOM! and Amway and the 10th built in Grand Rapids. The project is 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:               Tuesday, April 3
                            11 a.m. to Noon                       Children designing their dream playground
                            Noon to 2 p.m.                         Volunteers participating in planning meeting
WHERE:            D.A. Blodgett-St. John's Home
2355 Knapp St. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
VISUALS:          Children drawing their dream playgrounds
                            Before shots of the site     
CONTACT:    Nardy Baeza Bickel, 616-787-8468, [email protected]
                        Maria Filice, D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s, 616-361-5227, [email protected]
                        Mike Vietti, KaBOOM!, 785-320-2137, [email protected]
D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s Home
D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s is a 125-year-old accredited agency that works in partnership with the community providing comprehensive services to children and families, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, foster care, adoption, and family support, as well as, residential treatment and emergency shelter care at St. John’s Home.
Amway has a longstanding history of sharing with the community, both through volunteer efforts and charitable contributions. The Amway One by One Campaign for Children rallies the resources of Amway distributors and employees around the world to make a difference in the lives of children in every market where the company conducts business. Since the Amway One by One program launched in 2003, it has provided hope and opportunity to 9.5 million children and donated more than $166 million to children's causes worldwide. The number of employee and distributor volunteer hours logged since 2003 totals 2.5 million.  For corporate inquiries call (616) 787-7565 or For more information on Amway One By One, visit  
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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Maria E. Filice
Development Assistant
D.A.Blodgett- St. John's
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