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Playworld Systems Recognizes 10-Year-Old Boy for His Entrepreneurial Spirit and Quest to Save Play in Detroit

DETROIT, MI--(Marketwire - Oct 23, 2012) -  Playworld Systems, a leading manufacturer of imaginative playground and fitness equipment, today announced that the grand opening of a new community playground will take place on Friday, October 26 at 4:00 pm, at Zussman Park (3800 Waverly Street) in Detroit. Playworld Systems donated its Activo equipment to the city of Detroit in honor of Joshua Smith, a 10-year-old boy who set up a lemonade stand to help his city. Representatives from Playworld Systems surprised Joshua on his birthday last month to inform him of the donation.

"Many of our friends moved out of the city once they had children," said Rhonda Smith, Smith's mother. "But now they don't have parks like what we have here. Zussman Park is a retreat that gives us contact with nature in the city and it's important to our family."

Unlike other playground projects that are typically paid for by park and recreation departments or local community organizations, this playground is the result of a fundraising effort started this summer by Smith, who lives in Detroit's Russell Woods Historic District with his parents and younger brother. After hearing on the radio that Detroit's budget deficit was exceeding $200 million and seeing the impact of the city's budget shortfalls at his local park, he decided to take action.

"Joshua's story reminds us that small efforts can have a major impact on a community," said Matthew Miller, chief executive officer of Playworld Systems. "He inspired us and many others around the world to act, and as a result thousands of children will have a state-of-the-art playground to enjoy at Zussman Park."

The Kino model from Playworld Systems' Activo product line was installed at Zussman Park. The equipment offers a modern, non-linear design that provides children ages 5-12 with a dynamic play experience. Kids move in every direction as Activo's sleek shapes and challenges push them to the limits of creative play. With Activo, kids are inspired to make up new routes each time they play. Activo's shapes and ropes move with the child for an ever-changing experience that encourages social interaction, risk-taking, and problem solving. Activo's streamlined design provides more action in less space. Activo is also Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Silver, and has a carbon footprint that is 60 percent lower than traditional post-and-platform playground structures. 

"Play is about bringing people together. Through his efforts, Joshua is helping to build up his community and connect them through the power of play," added Miller.

In addition to donating the playground equipment, Playworld Systems' employees contributed funds to cover a portion of the shipping costs for delivering the playground structure from the manufacturing facility in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to Detroit. YRC covered the remainder of the shipping costs. Playworld Midstates, Playworld Systems' local distributor, worked with Detroit city officials in both the General Services and Recreation Departments to make the playground possible. Michigan Recreational Construction, Inc. agreed to donate the installation costs for the playground. Superior Groundcover Incorporated and Kamps also contributed materials and service.

About Playworld Systems, Inc.
For more than 40 years, Playworld Systems has delighted in igniting joy in people of every age and ability through play and fitness. Based on the belief that The World Needs Play®, Playworld Systems turns dreams into reality with its imaginative, customized commercial playground and fitness equipment. Our innovative product lines -- PlayDesigns®, PlaySimple®, Playworld®, Origins™, NEOS®, ENERGI®, and LifeTrail®, to name just a few -- are designed to unleash the transformational power of play, and imaginations soar and bodies strengthen along the way. An industry leader, we are first and foremost a family-owned company that cares about our customers as if they were family. Our customers benefit from unparalleled personalized attention from our network of local distributors and our value-added services. We invest significant resources to measurably reduce our impact on the environment. Our aggressive action to eliminate polyvinyl chloride (PVC) helped Playworld Systems become the first and only playground manufacturer to have its products Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Silver. We are deeply committed to evolving the world of play by moving beyond accessibility to create truly inclusive play spaces. That's why we developed the Inclusive Play Design Guide™, a free comprehensive resource that enables the creation of landmark inclusive play spaces. 

Come out and play with us. For more information about Playworld Systems, visit www.PlayworldSystems.com.