June7, 2002

The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center Opens to the Public Wednesday, June 19, 2002

The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center (RJKCCC) located at 6845 University Avenue in San Diego, will open to the public on June 19, 2002 with a dedication celebration of “It’s a Beautiful Day in This Neighborhood” at 11 a.m. The 12-acre family support, education, recreation, and cultural arts facility, made possible by a generous gift from philanthropist Mrs. Joan B. Kroc, will serve residents of East San Diego, La Mesa and Lemon Grove with a variety of programs for individuals of all ages.

“Dedication day marks the fulfillment of a dream which Mrs. Kroc began with her vision of a center of this magnitude,” said Lt. Colonel Donald C. Bell, Salvation Army divisional commander in San Diego. “The Salvation Army is very grateful for her generous donation, which has made it all possible.”

Special guests for the dedication ceremony are Mrs. Joan B. Kroc and Fred Rogers, creator and host of the long-running public broadcasting (PBS) children’s television show, “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” He will shed his jacket and donn a Salvation Army sweater for the occasion.

Key leadership of The Salvation Army will also be in attendance, including General John Gowans, international leader, who is traveling from The Salvation Army International Headquarters in London to participate in the dedication ceremony. National leader Commissioner John A. Busby and the four territorial commanders will also be present.

Mrs. Kroc will be presented the “Others” Award, a national Salvation Army civic award that honors individuals who exemplify an extraordinary spirit of service to others and exceptional service benefiting The Salvation Army.

“Mrs. Kroc has repeatedly demonstrated a desire to provide significant help to others not just by establishing this community center, but by making other significant local and national contributions, as well as the Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the United States,” Bell said.

RJKCCC volunteers, community leaders, and the mayors of San Diego, La Mesa and Lemon Grove will be recognized for the unprecedented collaboration on this project. The mayors will ceremoniously present Mr. Rogers with a miniature red San Diego trolley.

Tours and exhibitions will be conducted throughout the facility following the dedication ceremony. From 3-8 p.m., the community center will be open for the public to enjoy aquatics, the gymnasium, skateboard park, challenge course, and ice arena facilities free of charge.

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