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200 volunteers improve Grand Rapids kids' lives, futures with play

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Partners have joined forces to create a new playground, constructed by KaBOOM! and designed by Club members themselves, at Seidman Boys & Girls Club.

A playground is more than a playground. It’s a brain-expander, friend-maker and muscle-builder. Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a productive adult. It can transform children from sedentary, bored and solitary to physically, mentally and socially active. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to the bold goal of ensuring that all children get the balance of active play they need to become healthy and successful adults because play matters.

The new playground built at Seidman Boys & Girls Club on May 17, 2014 (design based on Club members’ drawings created at a special design event in March) will bring more than 1,000 kids in Grand Rapids one step closer to having the childhood they deserve. Currently, there is a limited number of safe places where kids can play outside in the City of Grand Rapids. The new playground at the Club will provide a safe place for thousands of kids to play each year.

“A community’s well-being begins with a child’s well-being,” says Darell Hammond, founder and CEO of KaBOOM!. “With the support from our partners at Good Neighbor Pharmacy and Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth in building this playspace, we hope to instill the importance of active play for kids and families in the community for generations to come.

The playground is the fifth built by Good Neighbor Pharmacy and KaBOOM!. Through this partnership, more children will have the joyful childhood they deserve. Good Neighbor Pharmacy supports KaBOOM! in promoting and protecting a child’s right to active play at home, at school and in the community.

“Bringing play to communities like Grand Rapids is critical to the health and well-being of our young generation,” said Scott Robinson, Vice President of Good Neighbor Pharmacy. “Obesity and diabetes are huge health issues right now, and this is a perfect way for children to get out and exercise to hopefully combat these diseases in the future. It’s also a great way for our pharmacists to give back to the community in which they live and work every day.”

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth
In every community, boys and girls are left to find their own recreation and companionship in the streets. An increasing number of children are at home with no adult care or supervision. Young people need to know that someone cares about them. Founded in 1938 by Grand Rapids Superintendent of Police Frank O’Malley, Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth engages youth in building positive and meaningful relationships with police officers, staff and adults through programs in the areas of recreation, education, leadership development, healthy life skills, arts, education and positive community services.  Boys & Girls Clubs offer programs and services that promote and enhance development by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence. For more information about Grand Rapids Boys & Girls Clubs visit

About Good Neighbor Pharmacy & AmerisourceBergen Corporation
Good Neighbor Pharmacy is a national network of more than 3,200 independent community pharmacies.. Our mission is to provide communities with options when it comes to their healthcare needs, along with the personalized service, affordable products and care that only an independent community pharmacy can delivery. Good Neighbor Pharmacy is a program by AmerisourceBergen Corporation, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. With over $80 billion in annualized revenue, AmerisourceBergen is headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., and employs approximately 13,000 people. AmerisourceBergen is ranked #32 on the Fortune 500 list. For more information, go to and

About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to the bold new goal of ensuring that all children, particularly the 16 million American children living in poverty, get the balance of active play they need to become healthy and successful adults. KaBOOM! has been a powerful champion for play since its founding in 1996, working with partners to build, improve and open more than 15,000 playgrounds, engage more than 1,000,000 volunteers and serve more than 6,600,000 children. KaBOOM! creates and catalyzes great places to play, inspires, empowers and leads play advocates, and educates and elevates the societal conversation about the importance of play in children’s lives. For more information, visit or follow the conversation on why #playmatters at or

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