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  • Carrie Underwood Works With Volunteers For Her C.A.T.S Foundation

    Tue, 18 Oct 2011 14:49:45

    Carrie Underwood Works With Volunteers For Her C.A.T.S Foundation - She got her hands dirty on Friday!

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    Country music superstar Carrie Underwood worked alongside hundreds of volunteers on Friday, Oct. 14, where her C.A.T.S. Foundation - Checotah Animal, Town, and School Foundation - and national non-profit KaBOOM!, built a new playground in one day at Marshall Elementary School in Carrie's hometown of Checotah, Oklahoma.

    Underwood and the other volunteers assembled the child-designed playground from scratch in less than eight hours with the help of KaBOOM! and more than 200 volunteers on Friday, Oct. 14. Volunteers gathered for a kickoff ceremony at 8:30 AM and completed the playground project in time for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2:30 p.m.

    Underwood created C.A.T.S. Foundation in 2009 as a means to give back to her hometown of Checotah, OK. Since its inception, C.A.T.S. Foundation has contributed to the local community in many ways, including donating $117,000 in instruments to the school's music program (with ACM Lifting Lives), rebuilding the local animal shelter, and making contributions to other local groups in need.

    "We had the most amazing day putting together something truly special for the kids – and the community," said Underwood. "I'm so proud that so many volunteered their time to be here today."

    During the course of the day, Underwood painted a mural, planted vegetation and assembled several playground components, including a Horse Spring Rider and a Tree House Barrier. In total, volunteers mixed and moved more than 12,000 pounds of concrete and moved 43,740 square feet of safety surfacing by hand – enough to cover nearly 10 NBA-sized basketball courts. The new 2,500 square-foot playground includes equipment for children of all ages, including a 360 degree spiral slide, a tree house climber and a tire swing.

    "On behalf of the Marshall Elementary students and staff, I would like to thank Carrie Underwood for her generous donation to KaBOOM!, which made this playground project possible," said Jann Ledbetter, Marshall Elementary Principal. "It is particularly special for us because this was Carrie's elementary school. At Marshall we believe that play is of the utmost importance in the physical, mental and social development of young children. We are incredibly grateful to the C.A.T.S. Foundation, KaBOOM!, and community and parent volunteers who have come together in making our dream playground a reality. Together we have positively affected our current and future student's lives for the better."

    Planning for the playground began at a Design Day event held in August when local children and community leaders met with organizers from the C.A.T.S. Foundation and KaBOOM! to design their dream playground. The children's drawings were then used to create the final playground design.

    KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization dedicated to saving play. For 15 years, KaBOOM! has been fighting the Play Deficit, and this project is one of more than 150 playground builds KaBOOM! will lead across the country in 2011 in an effort to provide a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.

    What do you think of Carrie Underwood's philanthropic efforts?

    —Amy Sciarretto
    10.18.11



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