Coeur d’Alene celebrates Kroc Center

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Coeur D’Alene City Councilman Mike Kennedy reported on the Kroc Center celebration in Huckleberries Online, a blog of, on May 1, shortly after the long-anticipated announcement.
The following is his record, with some additions from an article published May 2 in by JoNel Aleccia, entitled “Kroc center awarded to CdA.”

What a deal! This was one of the coolest meetings I’ve ever been to.

There were tons of people packed into the council chambers, with lots of media and dignitaries in attendance and many spilling out into the hall. It was an interesting feeling as I think most people were confident we would get the center, but it certainly wasn’t for sure, so all conversations were a little clipped in anticipation.

Several members of The Salvation Army were there in uniform and led the gathering in a brief opening prayer. Major John Chamness read the mission statement from Joan Kroc and The Salvation Army that guided the entire process from the beginning. When Mayor Sandi Bloem turned the floor over to Lt. Colonel Harold Brodin [Salvation Army Northwest divisional commander] who uttered the words “Coeur d’Alene has been selected…” the place erupted in a standing ovation with high fives and hugs all around—it was a total rush!

Major Chamness made the point that Coeur d’Alene really had a lot going against it in the process because of the small size and some other potential obstacles. But they took into account how many people pulled together to just accomplish whatever needed to get done—period.

Coeur d’Alene’s proposal was well researched and well presented, said Chamness, who shepherded the process. “We did our homework,” he said. “I think we did everything right.”

Mayor Bloem, who spearheaded the project, was showered with hugs and handshakes and given a standing ovation. “This is the best news we could possibly get,” she said.

Bob Wood, swim coach of Lake City High School and the Coeur d’Alene Area Swim Team, commented that the city’s first public pool will likely transform competitive swimming in North Idaho.

This is a great day for Coeur d’Alene. I would now like to encourage everyone reading this to drive over to your nearest McDonald’s and have a celebratory meal in gratitude.

Then write a check of any size to The Salvation Army Coeur d’Alene Kroc Center to make sure we raise the rest of the private money fast and strong.
What a great day to live in North Idaho!

In a note to New Frontier, Mike Kennedy wrote, “I’m a newly elected member of the Coeur d’Alene City Council so I’ve gotten to know just how much time, effort, and passion went into this endeavor. And once again, on behalf of the city but also on behalf of my wife and kids—THANK YOU!!”

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