The non-profit organization uses compact equipment to build playgrounds.

Bobcat Company is supporting "a child's right to play" by donating use of equipment to KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization that helps build playgrounds throughout the United States.

"Our mission is simple: to create healthy play opportunities for young people," said Jennie Connor, KaBOOM! project manager. "Bobcat is helping us do that by donating valuable equipment that allows our community partners to focus their resources on what's really important - the playground."

KaBOOM! works with communities and corporations to build safe and accessible playgrounds for children who need them, and has helped construct more playgrounds than any other U.S. service organization.

Bobcat Company decided to donate use of its compact equipment to KaBOOM! on a build-by-build basis after learning about the organization's efforts.

"We saw this as an incredible opportunity to get involved, on a local level, with a worthwhile cause," said Gary Hornbacher, North American marketing manager for Bobcat Company. "In the end, we rely on our dealer network to donate and deliver the equipment, and we couldn't be more proud of our dealers for being so enthusiastic and generous with their time and resources."

Hornbacher works directly with KaBOOM! to learn where upcoming playground builds are scheduled, and then ensures all corresponding local dealers are given the chance to get involved.

Participating Bobcat dealers typically donate a new skid-steer loader, an auger attachment with two bits, and a bucket for drilling holes for two days during site-preparation work. Then, when the playground equipment is installed, the dealer sometimes delivers a Toolcat 5600 utility work machine to the build site for the day.

Connor said not only do Bobcat dealers' donations allow the organization to afford an extra swing or bench on each playground, but Bobcat Company's corporate-level support also saves the organization the hassle of finding and renting equipment in each city.

KaBOOM! playgrounds vary in cost from $30,000 to more than $100,000. The budget is impacted by factors including the land's size, site-preparation needs, the complexity of play equipment, and the safety surfacing selected. Connor said Bobcat Company donations save the organization between $350 and $500 daily.

KaBOOM! has built more than 600 community playgrounds and raised over $20 million since its start in 1995. What does the name KaBOOM! mean? The organization's founders chose the name KaBOOM! because "it represented the explosion of energy unleashed through their unique model for community empowerment and change."

Source: Bobcat, April 2004

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