East Tampa Community to Design Playground for All Ages

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Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa, VM Ybor Neighborhood Association, Humana Inc., and KaBOOM! design space for people of all generations to gather and play in advance of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.

WHAT: Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will join the City of Tampa, the VM Ybor Neighborhood Association, Humana Inc., and organizers from KaBOOM! (a national non-profit dedicated to saving play) at Ragan Park Community Center in East Tampa on Thursday, May 31 to kick off design plans for a one-of-a-kind, multi-generational playground.

The customized playground will be funded primarily by Humana (a leading health care company) and will be created with personal drawings and other input from local community members – from children to seniors – collected during this special design day.

WHY/HOW: The current playground equipment at Ragan Park is old and need of replacement. A new playground and multi-generational exercise stations will provide the youth with an age-appropriate area to play, as well as opportunities for the seniors to interact further with each other and the community. Humana is proud to help create a lasting neighborhood legacy that promotes healthy play and well-being.

The community will rally together to design senior-focused and adult elements, including fitness stations and walking paths, to promote good posture, balance and flexibility – as well as more traditional, kid-friendly equipment to create a truly multi-generational space. The project will create a family reunion gathering area to inspire family picnics and get-togethers at the park for years to come. The actual playground build day is Sat., Aug. 11 in conjunction with the 2012 Republican National Convention being held Aug. 27-30 in Tampa. Humana and KaBOOM! will also build a playground in Charlotte, N.C., in conjunction with the 2012 Democratic National Convention in September.

WHEN/ Thurs., May 31

WHERE: Ragan Park Community Center, 1200 E Lake Ave., Tampa, FL 33605

5 p.m. Community children designing their dream playground

6 p.m. Adult volunteers participating in playground planning

City of Tampa
The City of Tampa is the largest city in Hillsborough County, is the county seat and is the third most populous city in Florida. It is located on the west coast of Florida, approximately 200 miles northwest of Miami, 180 southwest of Jacksonville, and 20 miles northeast of St. Petersburg. The population of the city represents approximately one-third of the total population of Hillsborough County. Tampa's economy is founded on a diverse base that includes tourism, agriculture, construction, finance, health care, government, technology, and the port of Tampa. Contributing to the success of our community is the way businesses, City government, and citizens work together to make Tampa a better place to live.

VM Ybor Neighborhood Association
As Ybor City and the cigar industry prospered in the post-World War I economy, well-positioned factory workers, office managers, and entrepreneurs began moving north, past La Michiga, to what is now Columbus Drive and V.M. Ybor. A larger, greater Ybor City developed. Today, the diverse V.M. Ybor neighborhood, still enjoys many urban amenities and close proximity to everything Ybor City and downtown Tampa has to offer. It is truly a gem in Tampa’s urban core!

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is a leading health care company that offers a wide range of insurance products and health and wellness services that incorporate an integrated approach to lifelong well-being. By leveraging the strengths of its core businesses, Humana believes it can better explore opportunities for existing and emerging adjacencies in health care that can further enhance wellness opportunities for the millions of people across the nation with whom the company has relationships. For more information, visit www.humana.com.

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 www.kaboom.org.