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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Kroc Center to Open in May

After nearly six years of fundraising and two years of construction, the new Phoenix South Mountain Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center will celebrate its grand opening on Friday, May 18.

The 147,000-square-foot facility near 14th Street and Broadway Road is nearly three times larger than the previous Salvation Army structure – which was demolished last December – and offers additional sports fields and programs for all ages.

New amenities include three multipurpose sport fields, a full-size football/soccer field, two practice boxing rings, nine volleyball courts, a walking/running track, rock climbing wall, indoor swimming pool, computer labs, wellness center, performing arts center and library.

“This facility really is for everyone,” stressed Christy Jones, marketing manager for the Phoenix South Mountain Kroc Center, adding that programming will revolve around five pillars: arts, education, recreation, wellness and spiritual guidance.

Some planned classes include GED preparation, ceramics, computers, rock climbing, Zumba and year-round swimming. Day camps will be held during the summer.

When the Kroc Center’s doors open, it will signal the start of a three-day celebration, starting with a dedication ceremony. Then, on Saturday, festivities include a family carnival from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., followed by a Radio Disney Rockin’ Road Show concert. And, finally, Sunday will see the first church services held at the new facility.

In addition to activities, events and programs, the Kroc Center’s opening also brings new employment opportunities to the South Mountain area. Open positions will be publicized at a job fair on March 12 and 22 at South Mountain Community College.

“We’re hoping to fill up to 100-150 positions – all levels of employment,” Jones said. “There will be full- and part-time positions available.”

Monthly rates for Kroc Center memberships range from $10 for youths up to 11 years old to $81 for a family with more than seven members. Residents who join before May 4 become Charter Members and get the $50 registration fee waived. They also receive a Charter Member Kroc gift, a special invitation to the grand opening celebration and access to other members-only events.

A complete list of programs and activities, as well as a member application, is available at HYPERLINK “http://www.southmountainkroccenter.org” http://www.southmountainkroccenter.org.

Prior to her passing in October 2003, Joan Kroc, wife of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, gave The Salvation Army in excess of $1.9 billion and stipulated that the money get integrated into deprived communities for programs related to arts, education, physical activity and spiritual enlightenment. The Kroc gift is being used to build and partially endow an estimated 25-30 Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers across the United States.

The Phoenix South Mountain Salvation Army received its $64 million grant to help build and operate the Phoenix South Mountain Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in May 2006.

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