“We can help bring our city together by declaring our love to all of its children and showing them the faith we have in their future.”
—Joan Kroc, 1998
The Kroc Centers started with one woman’s dream:
Meet Joan Kroc, Philanthropist & Kroc Center Benefactor
Joan Kroc’s Story
Joan Kroc, wife of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, said that she took a tour of San Diego and it was then that she recognized a community that was in desperate need of a safe gathering place, a place with facilities and trained professionals to nurture children’s social skills, arts appreciation and athletic potential. She described The Kroc Center as being a beacon of light and hope in the community.
Mrs. Kroc entrusted The Salvation Army with $90 million to build the first Kroc Center in the Rolando neighborhood of San Diego. Sadly, she passed away a little more than a year after it opened. She was so pleased with what was accomplished here that she left $1.5 billion to The Salvation Army to build centers like this across the country. Today, there are 26 Kroc Centers nationwide.
The Salvation Army, and Joan Kroc’s gift, has made a big impact in South Bend.
About The South Bend Kroc Center
The 110,000 square-foot South Bend Kroc Center redefines what a community center is all about. This unprecedented place of gathering and enrichment houses an array of education, sports, faith, arts and supportive programs to deliver a world class experience. 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.
The Kroc Center is comprised of four major components: a center of worship and performance venue, an aquatics center, fitness and recreation center, and special event facilities.
Development of The Kroc Center was made possible by a $70 million combined capital and endowment grant from a bequest to The Salvation Army by the late Mrs. Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc. As a condition to the significant Kroc grant, the community also raised $10 million locally, representing a total community investment of nearly $80 million.
Construction of The South Bend Kroc Center began in May 2010 and the facility opened in January 2012.
SOUTH BEND KROC CENTER MISSION:
The Kroc Center provides a safe and accessible environment that enriches the lives of everyone
in our community by providing opportunities for holistic individual success.
VISION: Where people learn, grow and succeed.
VALUES: Joy | Service | Team Player | Excellence | Christ-like