Kroc Center Boston
New England's newest and largest, most comprehensive community center officially opened its doors on April 1, 2011. The opening represents The Salvation Army's ongoing commitment to building communities of faith, hope, compassion, and grace.
THE SALVATION ARMY RAY AND JOAN KROC CORPS COMMUNITY CENTER of Boston is a once-in-a-lifetime investment that will change the lives of Boston's neediest families for generations to come. At the Kroc Center children will play. Learners will discover. Parents will dream. Troubled spirits will find healing. Families will come together. A community will have a place. Our goal is within reach - with your help. The Kroc Center will bring hope to people who need it, new life to a community in need and a vision for the next generation of our city. This is indeed the time for bold action in Boston.
The programs, as well as the building itself, have been designed to stimulate the mind, body and spirit, to provide hope, and to transform the life of each and every member of the community.
Joan Kroc's Dream
If you've ever eaten at a McDonald's restaurant, you were indirectly supporting a number of charities like The Salvation Army, the Ronald McDonald House and St. Vincent de Paul. That's because McDonald's founder Ray Kroc and his wife, Joan, were generous philanthropists.
After Ray passed away in 1984, Joan carried forth the tradition, often being called "St. Joan of the Arches." Yet many of her contributions went unnoticed during her lifetime because Joan often requested that her name not be revealed to the organizations she supported.
However, her affinity for The Salvation Army was no secret. In 1998, Joan announced that she was donating $80 million for the building of the first Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, to be located in a beleaguered midcity neighborhood in San Diego. Her vision was to create a place where all people, regardless of social status, had access to a world-class recreational, educational and cultural arts facility.
At the San Diego Kroc Center's grand opening celebration in June 2002, she expressed her desire that "tens of thousands of children" would be able to enjoy the facility in the coming years. Speaking directly to the youth in the audience, Joan expressed the hope that their hearts would never become hardened by intolerance. "You're what the world is banking on," she concluded. The center sits on 12 acres and offers an ice arena, gymnasium, three pools, rock climbing walls, a performing arts theatre, an internet-based library, computer lab, and a school of visual and performing arts.
When Mrs. Kroc passed away in October 2003, she left $1.5 billion - much of her estate - to The Salvation Army, by far the largest charitable gift ever given to The Army, and the largest single gift given to any charity at one time. The initial disbursements of this bequest began in January 2005. The gift had by then grown to $1.8 billion and was split evenly among the four Army Territories - Central, East, South and West. The money was designated to build a series of state-of-the-art Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers nationwide patterned after the San Diego center. The Salvation Army Kroc Center of Boston is a fulfillment of her vision and provides an unprecedented opportunity for you to do the most good for yourself, your family and your community.
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