Kroc Center Brings Hope to Chicago’s South Side

The Salvation Army, Kroc Community Center, Kroc Chicago, Youth, Family, Low-income, South side

4,000!

That’s how many Chicagoans attended the grand opening of the long-awaited Salvation Army Kroc Corps Community Center on June 16. The 167,000 square foot center didn’t disappoint, boasting the city’s largest array of sports, arts and educational programs for the public.

Funded in large part by the late Joan Kroc as well as community partners and supporters, the facility offers a sports training center, aquatic center, arts academy, educational center and chapel.

The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony brought together representatives from The Salvation Army, elected officials, community residents and donors. A special presentation from Joan Kroc’s granddaughter, Amanda Latimer, included her grandmother’s words, “Serve others joyously and your reward will be great. Carry with you the message of charity and brotherly love.”

The reward will be the tremendous impact of the center on Chicago’s south side. The Salvation Army hopes the new center will curb violence in the West Pullman community, create jobs and offer a place of peace and safety for area children.

“When there is no vision, the people perish. And The Salvation Army had a vision. As we bring people together, there is a spirit of family, a spirit of community,” said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. “There is violence in our neighborhoods. We need to end the silence and speak out… we can do it as a community.”

Once again, Joan Kroc’s vision of creating opportunity for communities in need has been realized. This is the 21st center of its kind to open since the initiative began in 2003.

Want to become a member of the Kroc Center in Chicago? Learn more by clicking here.

The Salvation Army, Kroc Community Center, Kroc Chicago, Youth, Family, Low-income, South side

Thousands of people explored the many programs and services the Kroc Center offers at a community open house on Saturday, June 16.

The Salvation Army, Kroc Community Center, Kroc Chicago, Youth, Family, Low-income, South side

The Salvation Army Kroc Corps Singing Company children's choir performed at The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center Open House on Saturday, June 16.

The Salvation Army, Kroc Community Center, Kroc Chicago, Youth, Family, Low-income, South side

The Chicago White Sox Training Academy teaches kids the basics of t-ball at the community open house on Saturday, June 16.

The Salvation Army, Kroc Community Center, Kroc Chicago, Youth, Family, Low-income, South side

Kids learn the fundamentals of swimming at The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center Open House on Saturday, June 16.

The Salvation Army, Kroc Community Center, Kroc Chicago, Youth, Family, Low-income, South side

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (center) stands with Joan Kroc's family and Salvation Army Director of Development Adrienne Finley, Sierra Del Mar Division, at the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Chicago on Saturday, June 16, 2012.

The Salvation Army, Kroc Community Center, Kroc Chicago, Youth, Family, Low-income, South side

More than 4,000 people attended the Grand Opening Ceremony for Chicago's Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center on Saturday, June 16.