Life is a Long Beach (With a Park): JetBlue and KaBOOM! Team Up to Build 12th Playground

Hundreds of volunteers from JetBlue Airways and the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, organizers from KaBOOM! and residents of the local community came together today to build a new playground in Long Beach, California
Feb 16, 2012 5:05 PM ET
LONG BEACH, Calif., Feb. 16, 2012 / 3BL Media / PRNewswire / -- JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) is pleased to announce that it teamed up with long-time partner KaBOOM! to build its 12th playground in 12 years today at the Fairfield Family Branch YMCA in Long Beach, Calif. The playground build began with a kickoff ceremony at 8:30 a.m. PT and the ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held be at 2:30 p.m. To celebrate its partnership with KaBOOM! JetBlue is inviting customers to vote on the next playground location (a) on its Facebook page. Those who vote will be entered for a chance to win a JetBlue Getaways vacation package! (b)   (Logo: )   "As the 12th playground built in our 12 years of service, this playground is a milestone in JetBlue's history and what a better fit than our Long Beach focus city, one of the first destinations in our network," said JetBlue's Director Corporate Responsibility Icema Gibbs. "Our long-standing commitment to the community and City of Long Beach is made stronger with initiatives like these. Creating safe spaces for our kids to play, in partnership with KaBOOM!, has been one of the cornerstones of our social responsibility efforts and one of the most satisfactory endeavors for our crewmembers."   "KaBOOM! is thrilled to continue our tremendous work with our National Partner, JetBlue," said KaBOOM! Founder and CEO Darell Hammond. "Every child deserves to have a great place to play and we made that possible for children at the Fairfield Family Branch YMCA, while bringing KaBOOM! one step closer to our vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America."   Katherine Tarlecky, Branch Executive Director for the Fairfield Family YMCA says, "This is such a wonderful opportunity for our YMCA and the community that we serve. We are delighted to have such a wonderful partner in JetBlue to help our youth's dreams of a new playground come true.  Each year thousands of children and families pass through our doors and this new playground will only enhance their experience at the YMCA. This also helps the YMCA fulfill our three focus areas of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility."   A great place to play for school-age kids (ages 5-12) will improve community health, develop children's social skills and combat childhood obesity. KaBOOM! and JetBlue know that kids play harder and get more exercise when they play in an unstructured way. This playground will provide the perfect space for play and, given the high number of kids served at the Fairfield YMCA, would be an important part of the solution to the neighborhood's obesity problem.   Members and nonmembers of the Fairfield Branch will all benefit from its programs and will rally together to make this playground project successful. Hundreds of volunteers were in attendance to support this activity. They view the Fairfield Branch as a safe community space that brings together neighborhood children and will donate their time, money and efforts to this project. Through working with its members, parents and volunteers, the Fairfield YMCA's project planning committee is ready to build a great new place to play.   The playground is the 12th built by KaBOOM! and JetBlue in an effort to fight the play deficit and save play. The airline has helped to build playgrounds in Greater Boston, Massachusetts; Salt Lake City, Utah; Kissimmee and Orlando, Florida; and Long Island City, New York, among others. JetBlue is the largest airline out of Long Beach, California, offering nonstop service to 13 cities, including Anchorage, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York, Oakland, Portland (Oregon), Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC.   About the YMCA of Greater Long Beach The YMCA of Greater Long Beach is a champion of health and well-being in the community. This year, they kicked off their campaign to curb childhood obesity and promote healthy living. By providing facilities for exercise, sports and play, the Fairfield Family Branch has embraced the challenge of promoting healthy lifestyles in the North Long Beach community which is challenged by today's economic struggles and with at risk youth.  Within this community many parents opt to keep their children indoors due to the higher crime levels and a lack of outdoor play space, which has helped aide inactivity and a growth in childhood obesity.  At present, the Fairfield YMCA provides ACA accredited Summer Day Camp, Resident Camp, Academic Enrichment for Elementary aged youth, Youth & Government for High school teens, dance, youth and adult health and wellness programs, group exercise, swim lessons, sports programs and collaborates with CSULB and Hamilton Middle School to offer YES! Si, Se Puede to Middle School youth. Every program incorporates a focus on health, well-being and getting kids and families active.   About KaBOOM! 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! 15 years ago 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 85,000 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   About JetBlue Corporate Social Responsibility JetBlue is committed to the cities it serves through support and alignment with not-for-profit organizations that focus on children, education, communities and the environment. Through a variety of programs and activities, JetBlue crewmembers are encouraged to help make an impact and inspire greatness in others while enriching the lives of individuals and communities across the airline's network. Through JetBlue's Community Connection Volunteer Program and other Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, JetBlue partners with a variety of philanthropic and community-focused organizations, including KaBOOM!,, The American Cancer Society and their Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walks; First Book, a not-for-profit organization with the mission to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books; and PBS KIDS, where JetBlue partnered to create Soar with Reading – Let Your Imagination Take Flight, a literacy campaign to help raise readers. In addition, JetBlue has created a platform called Jetting to Green which encourages environmentally-friendly practices through education and volunteerism.   About JetBlue Airways         JetBlue is known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, offering the most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch) and super-spacious Even More Legroom seats. JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit for details. JetBlue serves 70 cities with 700 daily flights and later this year plans to introduce service from Boston to Dallas-Fort Worth.  With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information or reservations call 1-800-JET-BLUE (1-800-538-2583), TTY/TDD 1-800-336-5530, 1-801-365-2583, or visit   (a) The winning city's playground will be built within a thirty (30) mile radius of nearest airport served by JetBlue. Both the site and the community partner for the playground will be selected by JetBlue and KaBOOM! The construction of the playground will be completed on or about August 2012. (b) NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF MONEY NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, aged 18 years or older at the time of entry. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received for the applicable drawing. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes ends February 29, 2012 at 11:59:59 PM ET. See Official Rules, which govern, for complete details and entry instructions.   Copyright 2012 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.