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                     An Extreme Makeover Designed By Kids

NEW YORK, Sept. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Call it an extreme makeover of the playful kind. On Saturday, Sept. 17, more than 250 employees of Piper Jaffray & Co. and community volunteers will build a state-of-the-art playground at Holy Cross Church & School in East Flatbush, Brooklyn during a one-day large- scale construction event. Work will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate completion of the new play area.

The 2,250-square foot playground will feature brightly-colored equipment including a spiral slide, challenge walk, beanstalk climber and many additional structures for 1,000 children in the community who currently have no place to play. The playground design was chosen based on input from the children who drew their dream playgrounds for planners at a Design Day on June 27.

Piper Jaffray is providing both financial and human resources for the project. More than 150 employees are expected to volunteer for the one-day build at Holy Cross. Piper Jaffray contributes five percent of its pre-tax earnings each year to charity with the combination of cash contributions, in- kind contributions and volunteer hours through its collaborative philanthropic approach.

"We're delighted to play such an active role in this wonderful project that will make a positive difference in the lives of young people," said Andrew Duff, chairman and chief executive officer of Piper Jaffray Companies. "This effort brings both our commitment to 'Building Strong Youth' and collaboration to life in the communities in which we live and work. We're proud to be working in partnership with Holy Cross Church & Parish, Sisters of Mercy, Habitat for Humanity NYC, Catholic Charities Diocese of Brooklyn, Monadnock Construction and the entire East Flatbush community."

After the one-day construction "blitz," the colorful new playground will stand where currently there is no safe place for children to play. According to a national Harris Interactive Poll, 75 percent of pediatricians report there has been a decline in unstructured play among their patients in the past five years, with 50 percent citing a lack of quality play spaces within walking distance of their homes.

"Holy Cross Parish is proud to team up with KaBOOM!, Piper Jaffray, Catholic Charities Diocese of Brooklyn, Monadnock Construction and the entire community to provide a desperately needed playground for all the children of East Flatbush," said Monsignor James Spengler, Holy Cross Church. "Play areas are few and far apart in our neighborhood, and thanks to this cooperative effort, we'll be addressing a critical need for young people. 'KaBOOM! in Brooklyn' will resonate with a positive and immediate impact on our community's families."

The playground build will incorporate the professional guidance of KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization that envisions a world in which all children have a great place to play within walking distance of their homes. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has led the planning and construction of more than 800 playgrounds across North America. This is the first playground built by KaBOOM! and Piper Jaffray.

"Play is vital to healthy development in children and playgrounds are an integral part of the fabric of our communities," said Darell Hammond, chief executive officer and co-founder, KaBOOM!. "Piper Jaffray and Holy Cross Church & School are setting a great example by working together to give the children in the community a new, safe playground. In this case, the process -- working together to plan and build the new playground -- is as important as the product -- the playground itself."

Holy Cross Church & School

Holy Cross Parish is located in East Flatbush, Brooklyn and was founded in 1848 as an immigrant Catholic community by Irish immigrants. Over the next hundred years the population started to change and today the Parish community consists mainly of West Indian, Haitian and Latino ethnic groups. Holy Cross operates an elementary school for children of all ethnic and religious backgrounds who reside in the immediate community. In addition, Holy Cross runs a successful summer youth employment program and a food pantry. Holy Cross has a long tradition of sharing its facilities with the community at large, from hosting town hall meeting within the 69th police precinct to offering space to non-profits for voter registration training and educational workshops. Holy Cross has existed for over 150 and has strong ties in the Flatbush Community. It will soon be expanding and changing its name to the Flatbush Catholic Community.

Piper Jaffray Companies

Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC) is a focused securities firm dedicated to delivering superior financial advice, investment products and transaction execution within selected sectors of the financial services marketplace. The company operates through two primary revenue-generating segments: Capital Markets and Private Client Services. Through its chief operating subsidiary, Piper Jaffray & Co., the firm has served corporations, government and non- profit entities, institutional investors and the financial advisory needs of private individuals since 1895. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Piper Jaffray has approximately 3,000 employees in 104 offices in 23 states across the country and in London. For more information about Piper Jaffray, visit us online at .


KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 800 new playgrounds and skateparks and renovate 1,300 others nationwide. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including trainings, challenge grants, publications and free Online Project Planner(TM) for communities who wish to plan a new community-built playspace on their own. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago, Atlanta and Redwood City, CA. For more information, visit .

SOURCE  Piper Jaffray & Co.
    -0-                             09/06/2005
    /CONTACT: Media Relations, Susan Beatty of Piper Jaffray & Co.,
+1-612-303-5680, ; or Monsignor James Spengler of Holy
Cross Church, +1-718-469-5900/
    /Web site:

CO:  Piper Jaffray & Co.; Holy Cross Parish; KaBOOM!
ST:  New York, Minnesota, District of Columbia

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5154 09/06/2005 10:18 EDT