The Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center of Augusta, GA swung open the doors on August 6 and embraced the public after seven years of planning and developing the 100,000-square-foot center.
Over 9,000 guests visited throughout the day and night, munching on hotdogs and celebrating the Center’s opening. First-arrivers were entertained with a performance by the Salvation Army Band in the impressive Franklynn Hall Arts and Worship Center. Augusta Green Jackets team members signed autographs for a long line of eagerly awaiting fans. Guests were even offered free massages!
The day ended with a rockin’ performance by local band Cowboy Mouth and an impressive fireworks show timed to traditional Salvation Army Brass Band music. By the first full day of operation, 1,004 memberships were sold representing 2,374 members!
“Our Grand Opening far exceeded my expectations. After planning for so long and after our team had put so much work and heart into this project since its beginning, it was an amazing feeling and a beautiful sight to behold. It was fun, it was filled with laughter, learning and depth and with over 9,000 guests coming onto the campus that day, my heart was blessed. I was reminded over and over again of this wonderful gift from Joan Kroc and the blessing the Lord has bestowed upon the Greater Augusta Area because of that gift”, said Captain Todd Mason, Kroc Center and Area Administrator.
The massive structure which sits on 17 acres in historic Harrisburg boasts a spectacular pool and waterslide, gymnasiums and fitness centers, recreational rooms for kids and adults, an amphitheater, and a banquet hall.
In keeping with the mission of The Salvation Army, The Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center provides facilities, programs and services that encourage positive life-changing experiences for children and adults, strengthen families, and enrich the lives of seniors.
Click here to learn more about the Salvation Army Kroc Centers nationwide.
The Salvation Army is assisting the emergency services, residents and local communities in London and other parts of the country during the aftermath of unrest in London and other parts of the country. Salvation Army emergency mobile response vehicles have been deployed and situated in secure areas.
“We are working closely with Haringey Council to support local residents and businesses as they rebuild their lives and the community after the turmoil of recent days. Salvation Army staff and volunteers are offering practical and emotional support to all who require assistance, including people who have been traumatized, made homeless or suffered other loss as a result of the unrest”, said Major Muriel McClenahan, The Salvation Army’s director of emergency services in the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland.
“There are dozens of people bringing donations and leaving in tears at the goodness that is felt. There are many young people here, helping to sort out the donations.”
The Community Assistance Center will help local people with a wide range of issues – from emergency housing for residents whose homes were damaged by the disturbances to advice from a team of social workers. The center will also act as a focal point for the many offers of donations which have been made by both businesses and individuals in the community.
Major McClenahan added, “Where it has been safe to do so, and with the guidance of the London Fire Brigade, Salvation Army emergency relief teams have been providing food, drinks and support to emergency services personnel as they respond to fires and incidents. We are continuing to monitor the situation and are ready to respond as required by the authorities and emergency services”.
Across the country Salvation Army personnel are meeting with community leaders and local authorities to offer support to rebuild shattered communities.
To read the full report from International Headquarters, click here.
The Salvation Army of Carlisle, PA received a fabulous makeover thanks to one hard-working high school Senior. After months of planning, organizing and 300 hours of physical labor, Christopher Kaufman reflects on the Eagle Scout project that took him over two years to accomplish.
“It definitely took up some of my free time this summer, but it was worth it.”
From conception to completion, Chris planned every detail of the renovation which included raising the funds, doubling the size of the display area, adding closet style areas, bins and shelving, installing counters, repainting, and waxing the floors.
And the employees are grateful too! “It’s wonderful. The goal was to give people the feeling of being in a boutique and Chris has more than accomplished that”, said Maureen Mahr, Business Administrator for the Salvation Army.
Many people think the thrift stores are simply tangible donations but there’s more to the story. If you’d like to learn more about how the Salvation Army thrift stores benefit Adult Rehabilitation Centers, visit www.satruck.org.
The Salvation Army mourns the untimely passing of Board Member Charles Wyly, a well-known Dallas entrepreneur, philanthropist, and long-time supporter of The Salvation Army. He died in an auto accident in Aspen, Colorado on Sunday, August 7th.
“Charles Wyly’s philanthropic works made a lasting impact on those less fortunate both here in Dallas and across the country. Charles served proudly on The Salvation Army’s Advisory Board in Dallas for 40 years and on the National Advisory Board for almost a decade. His support for the Army and other nonprofits helped provide social services, education, health care and more to so many Americans over his lifetime. He was an inspiration and role model to me personally. His presence will be missed but not forgotten as his spirit continues to influence us all,” said Charlotte Jones Anderson, National Advisory Board Chairwoman for The Salvation Army.
Wyly had a servant’s heart. He dedicated his time and financial resources to charitable causes as varied as education, the arts, social services, health care, and human rights. He even rang bells for kettle donations at the Dallas Shopping Mall every Christmas.
He served as a Salvation Army Board Member with dedication for 40 years and was an active Life Member. He was on various committees over the years, and had served as Advisory Board Chairman. Most recently, he was on the Underwriting Committee for the 2011 Annual Doing the Most Good Luncheon, as well as the Performing Arts Committee and the Long-Range Plan Committee. In 2003, Charles was instrumental in securing a monumental grant from the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund of the Communities Foundation of Dallas, to provide three years of funding to support the implementation of a strategic long-range plan for The Salvation Army in Dallas. Wyly was also a member of The Salvation Army’s national advisory board where he had served as Treasurer, and on the Executive Committee, Financial & Institutional Development Committee, and Business Administration Committee.
“Charles Wyly had a passion for business and innovation and a heart for supporting philanthropy and the less fortunate,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations & Development Secretary for The Salvation Army. “Over the years, Charles and his family were dedicated supporters of The Salvation Army, firmly believing in our Mission. Charles gave financially and he gave 40 years of experience and knowledge to The Salvation Army as a trusted friend. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family.”
Along with his brother and business partner, Sam, he was at the forefront of innovation, progress, and success in areas as diverse as technology, retail, investment management, and energy. After graduating from Louisiana Tech University in 1956, Charles went to work for IBM where he set sales records. He was later a founder of USACafes and, for 23 years, active as a director of this franchisor, which built the Bonanza Steakhouse restaurant chain to over 600 units. He was a founder and served as vice chairman for 16 years of Sterling Software, Inc., an international computer software company, and he served as a director of Sterling Commerce, Inc. Charles was co-founder and past chairman of Michaels Stores, Inc., the nation’s leading arts-and-crafts retail chain operating over 1,000 stores in 48 states and Canada.
Wyly was a faithful Christian and a loyal supporter of the Salvation Army. He will be sincerely missed by all.