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Devin D. Thorpe

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Monthly Archives: August 2015

Kool Smiles Announces $6.7 Million in Uncompensated Dental Care Through June 2015; Estimates $13.4 Million by Year End

-Safety net program from national children’s dental provider helps kids access needed dental services- 

ATLANTA (August 25, 2015)Kool Smiles, a leading provider of quality dental care in underserved communities nationwide, today announced $6.7 million in uncompensated dental care provided by its affiliated dental practices through June 2015. The national children’s dental provider is on track to provide more than $13 million in uncompensated care through the end of the year.

“Kool Smiles was founded on the belief that every person deserves a dentist, including those without any form of insurance,” said Dr. D Ray Gifford, Managing Dental Director for Kool Smiles. “Although we are proud to accept Medicaid and other insurance plans that most dentists do not, we also recognize that there are specific procedures that the American Dental Association or American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend where no specific reimbursement is available,” continued Gifford. “Recognizing that children who go without access to dental care can face lifelong struggles and health problems, we feel it is our moral and professional obligation to also provide these recommended services so that every person can have a healthy, happy smile.”

According to the Pew Center’s 2013 report, In Search Of Dental Care, each year in the United States tens of millions of children – disproportionately low-income – go without seeing a dentist, which can lead to pain, worsened health, and costly emergency room visits for untreated dental problems. Analysis of federal data by the American Dental Association (ADA) shows that ER dental visits doubled from 1.1 million in 2000 to 2.2 million in 2012 – one visit every 15 seconds.

“We recognize that emergency care is the last, least effective option to solving the oral health crisis in America,” concluded Gifford. “That’s why we also invest a significant amount of our time and resources to community programs that provide dental health education and teach preventative healthcare.”

Kool Smiles’ community outreach programs include Operation Troop Treats, an annual Halloween candy exchange program benefiting U.S. troop serving overseas. Through a partnership with Operation Gratitude, Kool Smiles and its patient communities have donated more than four tons of candy and sent 600 care packages to troops serving abroad since 2012. 2015 was the flagship year for Kool Smiles’ Sharing Smiles Day, a day of free dental care for children without dental insurance, held in February during Children’s Dental Health Month. During Sharing Smiles Day 2015, Kool Smiles volunteers were able to help more than 400 children receive needed dental care.

In addition to annual events, Kool Smiles also provides free dental health lesson plans and dental kits to K-5 classrooms throughout the year.

Founded in 2002, Kool Smiles operates more than 120 dental practices across 15 states and the District of Columbia, primarily in underserved communities that have historically lacked sufficient providers for the Medicaid patient population. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), approximately 80 percent of dentists do not accept patients with Medicaid or State Children’s Health Insurance Plans (SCHIP), citing, among other reasons, low reimbursement for their services. Kool Smiles helps provide a safety net for these patients, with approximately 80-90 percent of its patient population consisting of Medicaid or SCHIP enrollees.

Prostate Cancer Foundation Charles Evans PCF Pro-AM Tournament “Hamptons 2015”

With A Special Musical Performance By Grammy Award-Winning Producer David Foster & Friends And Other Special Musical Guests

at the Parrish Art Museum on Saturday, August 29, 2015

Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), a nonprofit organization which remains steadfast in its commitment to identify and fund groundbreaking cancer research programs to save the lives of millions, will host its annual gala at the Parrish Art Museum in Watermill, NY on Saturday, August 29, 2015.

The gala is in support of the 11th Annual Charles Evans PCF Pro-Am Tennis Tournament being held from August 28 – 30, 2015, named after the successful entrepreneur who constantly turned tragic events throughout his life into philanthropic causes. The gala evening will be a wonderful night of dining, dancing and filled with loads of surprises. The event will feature a special musical performance by Grammy Award-Winning Producer David Foster & Friends and other special surprise guests. 100 percent of the funds raised throughout the evening will support groundbreaking discoveries in cancer research.

Weekend hosts and sponsors of the Charles Evans PCF Pro-Am Tournament include: Bill & Karen Ackman; Bob & Deanna Adler; Seth & Marie Bernstein; Jim Coleman & Cynthia Ott; Larry Gagosian & Chrissy Erpf; Bonnie Pfeifer Evans; Jeff & Mei Sze Greene; The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.; Tom Lee & Ann Tenenbaum; David & Julia Koch; Bill & Phyllis Mack ; Richard Merkin, MD.; Mike & Lori Milken; Modell’s Sporting Goods; Glenn & Jennifer Myles; Dean Palin; Mickey Palin; Joel Pashcow; Artie & Selma Rabin; Stewart Rahr; Jonathan & Sheryl Sokoloff; Lady Sheila Stable; Leon & Leesa Wagner; Mort Zuckerman.

Richard Kind, David Foster (Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage.com)

John Paulson (Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage.com)

Marla Maples, Jason Binn (Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage.com)

Elaine Wynn (Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage.com)

Don Marron (Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage.com)

Marla Maples (Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage.com

Shelley Davis, Scott Davis, Larry Leeds (Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage.com)

Atmosphere (Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage.com)

Michael Milken (Photo Credit: Rob Rich/SocietyAllure.com)

Bonnie Pfeifer Evans, David Foster (Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage.com)

Frank Luntz, Lori Milken (Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage.com)

Joe Torre (Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage.com)

About Prostate Cancer Foundation:

Firmly committed to curing prostate cancer, the Prostate Cancer Foundation is the leading philanthropic organization funding and accelerating research globally. Since 1993, its unique strategies for identifying and investing in the most promising research programs have generated life-saving results. The organization channels resources to the world’s top scientific minds—cutting red tape and encouraging collaboration to speed breakthroughs. As a champion for increased government and private support, PCF has helped build a global research enterprise of nearly $10 billion. Through the generous contributions of our donors, it has funded more than 2,000 programs at more than 200 research centers in 18 countries. For more than 16 million men and their families fighting prostate cancer globally, PCF is a primary source for new standard-of-care and research information. It connects patients, loved ones, care providers and scientists to critical updates, the latest developments, best practices and news from the treatment pipeline.

For further information on the PCF, please visit http://www.pcf.org/

WTOP Announces 2nd Annual “Click for a Cause” Contest

Washington’s News Leader Will Donate $30,000 to Local Charities

WTOP-Click-Cause-Banner-CLEAN-350x350-v3

Washington, D.C. – WTOP today announced the return of the online contest, “Click for a Cause” which gives Washington, D.C. area non-profit organizations the chance to vie for one of three cash prizes.

The first-place winner will be awarded $12,000 while the second and third-place winners will receive $10,000 and $8,000 respectively. Winners are based on the highest number of votes (likes) received during the contest.

Local charities can register now through midnight September 6 at www.wtop.com search “Click for a Cause”. To qualify for participation, all charities must be a designated 501(c)(3) organization, be incorporated in the Washington, D.C. metro region or have a verifiable D.C. region chapter. Also the majority of the charity’s funds must serve the Capital region. Entries will be vetted the week of September 7.

WTOP Director of Marketing Mary Kay LeMay says, “We are excited to bring back ‘Click for a Cause.’ This program allows us to showcase and provide exposure for a lot of really great organizations. The format makes it accessible to any charity that qualifies, and they have it in their power to drive voting so it’s really a fun, grassroots type of effort.”

Voting will take place Monday, September 14 through Friday, September 25 at 5 p.m. at www.wtop.com. Voting is open to anyone, and people can vote for as many charities as they wish but only once per charity.

Winners will be announced the week of September 28.

About WTOP

WTOP Radio has served the Washington region since 1926 and has been Washington’s all-news radio station since 1969. WTOP is available on 103.5 FM in the D.C. metro, 103.9 FM in Frederick, 107.7 FM to the south and on any mobile device at WTOP.com. WTOP and its sister station Federal News Radio are owned and operated by Hubbard Radio, LLC.

Back to the Books: Southside Teachers Launch Personalized Books for Children with Special Needs

Chicago, IL (August 24, 2015) — Parents, teachers, and now entrepreneurs? All in a day’s work for Southside natives Kate Ryan and Heather McCarthy, whose first foray into the book publishing world—​Someone Special: Uniquely Personalized Books—​is poised to not only change the scope of resources for children with special needs, but also help share the message of kindness, acceptance, and respect for children everywhere.

As her daughter’s first day of preschool loomed, McCarthy thought about how to explain Maya’s rare metabolic condition to a room full of preschoolers. Since Maya’s diagnosis of propionic academia Heather and her husband Rob have been committed to teaching Maya’s family members, friends, and strangers about the condition. But now that Maya was starting school, other children and teachers would need to know important information vital to Maya’s health. How do you explain complicated medical jargon to 4-year-olds?

Using her resourceful background as a teacher, Heather designed and created a specific storybook about Maya that she can bring to class to help educate her teacher and peers. It was a huge hit—both for Maya, who loved seeing herself in the pages of beautiful storybook, and for the classroom. Longtime friend and fellow teacher Kate Ryan saw Heather’s homemade personalized book and immediately thought of the lasting impact this idea could have for children everywhere. ​Someone Special: Uniquely Personalized Books​ was born!

After a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $18,700 in just a week, ​Someone Special: Uniquely Personalized Books​ is excited to take the next step in making this invaluable resource available to families everywhere.

The interactive website, ​www.SomeoneSpecialBooks.com​, which launched this month, guides users to choose from a variety of options to creating their own personalized, fully customizable, beautiful hardcover storybook that reflect their needs. Each uniquely personalized book includes space for the child or parents to write from their own heart about the condition or special needs of the child and help share the message that every child is uniquely special in his or her own way.

“Our mission is to write books to teach kindness, acceptance, confidence, and to respect differences. Through our uniquely personalized books, parents are given the opportunity to tell their child’s story using their own words,” says Ryan.

McCarthy adds, “Children are given the chance to see their name and learn about their condition in a way that shows they are no different than other kids, but just as special.”

To date, ​Someone Special: Uniquely Personalized Books

  • had 277 Kickstarter backers
  • raised $18,785!
  • reached $10,000 on Day One!
  • reached $15,000 by Day Four!
  • had two international donations!

VISIT: ​www.SomeoneSpecialBooks.com

 

Eat Better + Do Good With These Breads And Spreads: Organic Food Company Sources Local Ingredients And Local Workers To Create Thriving Wage Jobs

(LANCASTER, PA) – Inspired by a bounty of local produce and a disproportion of local area poverty, The Lancaster Food Company’s mission is to create extraordinary food sourced from nearby organic farmers and hire people out of poverty into thriving-wage jobs.

The only certified organic food company in Lancaster, PA, the company’s mission includes paying better than living wages and hiring people who might otherwise have difficulty getting work because of personal histories, education, literacy, or language barriers.

Partners Charlie Crystle and Craig Lauer started The Lancaster Food Company with a dual mission: having significant impact on the city of Lancaster – which has a 30% poverty rate – and making delicious, sustainable food. Passionate about reducing poverty in the United States, the team wants to do its part where they live by paying better than living wages, hiring people who might otherwise have difficulty getting work, and offering stock options to all employees. Launched in 2014, the company currently employs 14 people with plans to expand to more than 100 over the next 18 months.

Living in a farm-friendly area where fresh produce thrives, Lancaster Food Company shares the best of Central Pennsylvania’s certified organic ingredients. Organic sandwich breads include varieties include soft white, sprouted multigrain, whole wheat, and sandwich rye. The brand also offers two varieties of sunflower seed butter, two varieties types of salsa, organic maple syrup, and a variety of seasonal, regional gourmet products.

ABOUT THE TEAM

Charlie Crystle | Co-founder & CEO

Charlie leads the company’s sales, marketing, and business development. He’s a serial entrepreneur who founded two software companies, GiftWorks and Chilisoft. His lifelong friendship with Craig and love of Craig’s cooking talent led him to form the company with him as a way to address poverty through prosperity and fair compensation. A University of Delaware graduate, he lives in downtown Lancaster with his dog Bear.

Craig Lauer | Co-founder & Chief Product Officer

Craig leads product development, production, and branding. Craig has been a brand strategist, advertising copywriter, fiction writer, and teacher. Before returning to Lancaster with his wife and daughter, he lived in New York City for more than 15 years, where he consulted with a wide range of companies. Craig holds degrees from Millersville University and Sarah Lawrence College. He is passionate about agricultural issues, the local food movement, wholesome food, and serving the community.

The Lancaster Food Company’s products are available at more than 100 stores and restaurants on the East Coast. Learn more at www.thelancasterfoodcompany.com.

PRODUCTS

ORGANIC SLICED SANDWICH BREADS

Baked and delivered fresh five to six days a week

  • Soft White
    For those who love soft old-fashioned white bread, enjoy this healthy and delicious alternative. With a bit of organic honey and sweet Pennsylvania apple cider, this bread pleases kids and the kid in all of us.
  • 100% Whole Wheat
    Soft and moist, this 100% whole wheat bread is high in fiber, nutrition, and flavor. It’s great toasted or as the foundation of any sandwich.
  • Sprouted Multigrain
    Easier to digest for some people with wheat sensitivities, this bread has the added nutty goodness of sprouted quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, and other sprouted ancient grains.
  • Sandwich Rye
    This version of a classic deli rye is full-flavored without being overpowering. Its big slices are perfect for any sandwich, including a classic Reuben, hummus with sprouts, egg salad, or sunflower seed spread and jelly.
  • Cinnamon Raisin Swirl
    A breakfast favorite, with 100% whole grains

ORGANIC SPREADS

Made in a peanut-free facility, these delicious organic seed spreads complement a range of treats.

  • Sunflower Seed with Pennsylvania Maple Sugar
  • Sunflower Seed with Sea Salt

ORGANIC MAPLE SYRUP

Harvested from a single farm in the northern hills of Pennsylvania, this premium organic maple syrup is the perfect addition to pancakes, waffles, breads, club soda, and even Manhattans.

LIMITED EDITION SEASONAL SALSAS AND JAMS

These jams and salsas burst with peak of summer freshness including tomatoes, sweet corn and other Lancaster County fruits and vegetables.

  • Ripe Tomato and Sweet Corn Salsa
  • Ripe Tomato and Cilantro Salsa
  • Golden Orange Tomato Salsa
  • Pectin-Free Organic Strawberry Jam

 

Kathleen Riddle, President of Outreach, to be Honored by USA Network for her Outstanding Work in Helping Teens and Young Adults Fight Substance Abuse

Riddle is one of Ten to Receive a 2015 USA Unites Award that Recognizes Astonishing Individuals Who Improve Lives and Help Strengthen Their Communities

Kathleen Riddle, President and Co-Founder of Outreach, will be honored for her work helping teens and young adults fight substance abuse. Riddle, along with ten other remarkable individuals, is set to receive a 2015 USA Unites Award that recognizes those who have helped to strengthen their communities and enrich the lives of others. Under Riddle’s leadership, Outreach has made a significant impact on the lives of many troubled teens and their families. For more than 35 years, she has been a tireless advocate for access, development and treatment for addicted adolescents in New York.

“After seeing heroin use rise to its highest level in a decade, Kathy has taken a lead role in influencing public policy and working to assure that quality care is widely available and readily accessible for those struggling with opiate addiction,” said Toby Graff, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.”

Photo: Dave Kotinsky/USA Network

Photo: Dave Kotinsky/USA Network

Riddle is known by those around her as being a dedicated advocate and leader for her own agency and for others around New York State as well. Her mission as CEO of Outreach has been to develop new methods of funding and services so that her agency can easily meet the needs of those affected by drug and alcohol addiction. Under her direction, Outreach has been named “One of the Best Companies to Work for in New York State” for multiple years running.

Riddle finds herself in the esteemed company of nine other notable honorees who have greatly affected their communities:

  • Kevin Cameron, Founder,  Alpha K9
  • Emersyn Harris, Founder, Cards for Kids
  • Todd Lipa, Program Director, City of Farmington Hills After School Youth Center Program
  • Elia Moreno, Community Engagement Manager, Cal Farley’s
  • Janet Peery, CEO, YWCA Oklahoma City
  • Jamie Raab, Director of Community-Based Services, GEM’s-Greene County Juvenile Office
  • Pastor Charlie Muller, Founder, CURE Foundation and ENOUGH Initiative
  • Kayla Dawn Begay, Founder, Dził Ditł’ooí School of Empowerment, Action and Perseverance
  • Kirk Johnson, Executive Director and Founder, SOUNDS Academy

USA Network and its distributors will pay tribute to the Award winners on-air in a public service announcement, online at usaunites.com and on social media. Each honoree will be acknowledged during hometown award ceremonies and will receive $5,000 grants from USA Network and its participating distributors to support their projects or related nonprofit organizations.

About USA Network

USA Network, the leader in cable entertainment, offers a powerful stable of dramatic, comedic and unscripted originals in more than 102 million U.S. homes. The network also features spectacular live television, a dynamic portfolio of acquired series and the best in blockbuster theatrical films and entertainment events. A trailblazer in digital innovation and storytelling, USA is defining, driving and setting the industry standard for Social TV. USA is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal. The award-winning website is located at http://www.usanetwork.com. Watch USA Network anywhere: On Demand, online or across mobile and connected TVs.

About Outreach

For more than 35 years, Outreach has been a premier provider of life-changing substance abuse treatment in New York City and Long Island. The organization is committed to making a difference in the lives of the people it serves. A non-profit organization licensed by the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and operates in a safe, empowering and affirming environment.

If you or someone you know needs help with a drug or alcohol problem, please visit, opiny.org.

$2 Million Donation From Schweitzer, SEL Fuels Pullman-Moscow Airport Expansion

PULLMAN, Wash. – August 24, 2015 – Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories is donating $1 million to help fund the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport Runway Realignment expansion. SEL Founder Ed Schweitzer and his wife Beatriz will also donate $1 million to the project.

The two contributions provide approximately one quarter of the local matching funds required by the FAA for the expansion project.

“The Schweitzer and SEL donations put us over the top for the local match,” said Tony Bean, executive director of Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport. “These gifts will help us give the region a competitive advantage for maintaining the quality of life enjoyed on the Palouse as well as attracting and retaining companies, jobs, students, faculty, and families.”

The runway realignment project will enable the airport to meet the industry’s evolving safety standards, while providing the opportunity for more flights and potential destinations out of Pullman-Moscow. It will also reduce the number of weather related flight cancellations.

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“The airport is an essential resource for our employees, job candidates, suppliers, and customers,” said Schweitzer. “This project will significantly benefit everyone throughout the region.”

“As members of this community, SEL and our family are delighted that we can be a part of making air travel in and out of the area safer, more convenient, and more dependable,” said Schweitzer.

Increased revenue resulting from the expansion will fund continued improvements of airport facilities and services in the future, said Bean.

According to Mead & Hunt, the engineering firm overseeing the project, the economic impacts of the realignment will be extremely significant. The 5-year construction phase will create approximately 200 jobs in Washington and Idaho and will generate more than $25.1 million through jobs, wages, and spending.

“Dr. Schweitzer has generously shared his suggestions and insights for improving the efficiency of the project,” said Pullman Mayor and airport board chair Glenn Johnson. “Over a year ago, he sent letters to the Washington and Idaho Congressional delegations that assisted local efforts to lower the local match. I was thrilled when he called me back in June to let me know that the donation was coming. It’s great that we can now let everyone know how SEL and the Schweitzers are helping us complete this critical project that will benefit the entire region.”

Physical construction of the project is slated to begin in early 2016, with the completion date in late 2019.

SEL invents, designs, and builds digital products and systems that protect power grids around the world. This technology prevents blackouts and enables customers to improve power system reliability, safety and cost. SEL, a 100 percent employee-owned company that is headquartered in Pullman, Washington, has manufactured products in the United States since 1984 and now serves customers in 147 countries. SEL provides unmatched technical support and customer service along with a 10-year worldwide warranty.

San Francisco Teal 2 Heal

San Francisco, CA, September 12, 2015 – The inaugural Teal 2 Heal 5k/1mile Run/Walk for Gynecologic Cancer Awareness will take place at Lake Merced at 8:00 A.M. Following the run/walk, there will be a community gathering featuring music, information booths, guest speakers, and survivorship resources.

SF Teal 2 Heal has three goals in accordance with bringing an end to gynecologic cancers:

  1. Raise awareness about risk factors and early warning signs that may be indicative of gynecologic cancers
  2. Provide emotional and practical support to women diagnosed with gynecologic cancer and their caregivers
  3. Support research in finding a cure for gynecologic cancers

The Gynecologic Oncology Division at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center and the Shanti Project are proud to co-host the run/walk.

teal2heal (2)

Participant registration is $30 plus a $2.50 registration fee, and there are need-based scholarships available.

New E-Commerce Store With A Big Heart On A Mission To End Hunger One Purchase At A Time

According to Stop Hunger Now, 805 million people in the world do not have enough to eat. HAUTLLY.com hopes to help change that.

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bamboo weave

One in every nine people on our planet go to bed hungry each night. For HAUTLLY, CEO Vincent Smith that’s a number that just doesn’t sit well with him.

“It’s been shocking to think that hunger and malnourishment is even a problem in this great country of ours, but the sad reality is that it is,” explained Smith. “I’ve been watching the dire situation on TV concerning our nation’s food banks running low and how even a celebrity tried to live off of $19.00 a week. It’s practically impossible,” explained Smith.

Eager to help eliminate hunger, Smith has launched a new company called HAUTTLY, an e-commerce store that will sell a variety of products including fashion merchandise. When a customer makes a purchase, he or she is also helping to make a difference in a person’s life.

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“As we expand, we will sell a variety of products with the HAUTTLY brand and with each and every purchase we will donate eight percent to Feeding America and other food banks. Join us to help end hunger,” stated Smith.

Feeding America is a network of food banks leading the fight against hunger in communities nationwide. It serves approximately 46.5 million Americans in need annually. Here alone in the United States, one in six people go hungry every day.

“That’s why we developed the HAUTTLY brand to address the growing concern over the U.S shortages in our nation’s food banks,” stated Smith. “Many of us enjoy on any given day the basics and more to live on, but many don’t come close. Your purchase will help those in need to feed themselves.”

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The first two products HAUTLLY will carry include reusable grocery bags and cotton-made wine bags with straps to carry the bottle.

“The site will eventually carry many different products. We will sell fashion related items for men and women, as well as items for the home. I hope people will discover cool products to buy on HAUTLLY,” stated Smith. “There is no limit to the number or type of products we will sell. The more products, the more opportunities to give back.”

According to Smith, HAUTLLY will offer top-quality products that make customers happy after every purchase yet warm and fuzzy by making a difference.

“It feels rewarding to be able to help those less fortunate,” Smith stated. “I see HAUTLLY as a global billion dollar brand in five years. Repeating our success here in other countries helping fund local causes there from sales in their country.”

To learn more about HAUTLLY, visit the company’s website at: www.hautlly.com.

KaBOOM! Revitalizes The Gulf Region Through Play 10 Years After Hurricane Katrina

National Non-Profit Part Of Katrina 10 Media Information Center And Panel

Washington, D.C. (August 24, 2015) – KaBOOM! – the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play – continues to support the revitalization of the Gulf 10 years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. As part of its commitment to bring play back to the area, the organization will be in New Orleans August 24-28 for “Katrina 10” anniversary week events, to share stories of impact, inspire hope for the future of the Gulf region, and to build two new play spaces with full playgrounds for the community.

Since 2005, KaBOOM! and its partners have invested $27.1 million, built 194 play spaces across the region that continue to serve close to 300,000 kids, and they have worked closely with Mayor Mitch Landrieu to help bring joy and togetherness back to New Orleans. Volunteers, partners and community partners, including those below, have helped KaBOOM! realize their goal of putting kids first.

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Ginny Reynolds

The Spark that Initiated KaBOOM! and its involvement in the gulf

Ginny Reynolds was born and raised in Bay St. Louis, a tiny town on the Gulf of Mexico about 20 miles west of Gulfport, Mississippi. When Katrina hit, she was living in Connecticut, but she had vivid memories of an earlier storm, Hurricane Camille, which battered Bay St. Louis back in 1969, when Ginny was just 9 years old. Ginny stated, “Unless you’ve lived through a catastrophic CAT 5 storm, it’s hard to imagine how upended everything is. KaBOOM! was able to understand the community’s needs and make progress happen.”

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Hollie Kosbab

Student and Hurricane Katrina Survivor

Hollie Kosbab was five years old and living in Mississippi when Hurricane Katrina hit. “Honestly, I just wanted to play tag with my friends and play on the swing set after the hurricane hit but there was nowhere to do that. Nowhere to have fun and be a kid,” said Hollie. “KaBOOM! came in and changed that. Even thought the storm was fresh in our minds, I felt like we were able to be kids again.”

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Antawn Jamison

Former NBA All-Star

“I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since Katrina and 7 years since I built my first playground with KaBOOM!,” said Antawn. “As we worked to put the playground together piece by piece, I was reminded that it was on a playground that I remember meeting my first friends and began to love the game that would change my life. That day I knew I’d found my charitable calling – to build playgrounds and inspire as many kids as possible to play outside no matter what.”

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Jarvain L. Bingmon

Executive Director of Trinity Christian Community

“KaBOOM! has helped change the tide of New Orleans and has played a huge role in the revitalization,” said Jarvain. “I’ve been on several KaBOOM! builds and experienced first-hand the power building playgrounds has on not just kids, but the entire community.”

To speak with these individuals or members of KaBOOM!, and learn more about the vital role of play in communities, visit the Katrina 10 media and information center at the New Orleans Sheraton Hotel ( 500 Canal St, New Orleans, LA). KaBOOM! will be sharing stories about putting kids first in more than 170 communities devastated by the storm, and you can follow along with the conversation at https://twitter.com/kaboom. For more information on KaBOOM! and its Katrina 10th anniversary efforts, visit: http://kaboom.org/operation_playground/pr

About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,300 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.1 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters: visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.

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