A day for new beginnings

Southwest Division officially breaks ground for new Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center.

by Meliss Axman –

Major Guy Hawk speaks at the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Phoenix South Mountain Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. [Photo by Marlene Klotz-Collins]

Ground was broken at the new Phoenix South Mountain Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center on March 29, 2010, at a celebration for more than 150 donors, community members and local dignitaries. The event acknowledged a benchmark of raising more than 70 percent of the $15 million community goal through donations made by more than 700 donors.

The International Staff Band played as guests arrived. (See related story, Page 1)

Among the featured speakers was Western Territorial Commander Commissioner Philip Swyers who shared his vision for the positive impact the center will have on the community. Ray and Joan Kroc’s granddaughter, Allison Fitzgerald; City of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and other supporters also addressed the crowd, echoing Swyers’ excitement for the new facility.

“We are grateful to God for the opportunity to break ground and move into the final phase of our campaign. This Kroc Center is going to be a beacon of hope for the Phoenix community, through both the expansion of services and the number of new jobs that it will create,” Southwest Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel Doug Danielson said.

After the ceremony, Majors Guy and Denise Hawk, South Mountain corps officers, presented a mock Kroc room constructed by Arizona State University tutors, Salvation Army youth, donors and local dignitaries, which showcased the impact the new center will have on Phoenix. The 130,000-square-foot Kroc Center will triple the size of the existing facility and provide additional sports utility fields and programs for all age groups and entire families.

Completion of the center is set for fall 2011. For donations and information see or contact Major Guy Hawk at 602-276-7396.

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