Salem Kroc celebrates first year
Center’s impact on community “exceeding expectations”
Friends of The Salvation Army Kroc Center in Salem, Oregon, celebrated the center’s first birthday Oct. 1-3. The weekend featured free community events, a donor reception, and a united service and soldier enrollment. Major Donna Ames is the Kroc Center administrator.
“Exceeding all our expectations,” said Ames, regarding how the center is meeting the needs of the community. For example: Instead of the projected 4,000 members, the center has 10,000; daily use averages 1,300, not the 800 expected during development; the center employs 222 people; the Kroc Center Corps has doubled in size from 100 to 200, with a worship service held each Sunday in English and Spanish; and, responding to demand, the center has added group fitness classes and programs for senior citizens.
The birthday celebration began with the donor reception on Friday night. Performers from Kroc programs provided the entertainment, which included Ballet Folklorico, Hip Hop dance, a cameo of the upcoming Cheaper by the Dozen theater production, drum performances and vocal solos. Donors mingled with staff members and visited booths representing the center’s departments: fine arts, aquatics, sports and fitness, and membership; also available was information on congregational life and the banquet facilities.
On Saturday, the Kroc Center welcomed the public to a free field day—a time of sports and fitness on the center lawn. Two hundred fifty people—adults and children—participated in hula-hoop, t-ball and tug-of-war competitions and a pie-eating contest.
The evening featured a free concert—“Above the Golden State” performed for over 150 people in the Kroc gymnasium.
The celebration continued on Sunday with a united worship service. The Kroc Center Corps enrolled five junior soldiers, five senior soldiers and five adherents; two babies were added to the cradle roll. Special guest Territorial Secretary for Program Lt. Colonel Judy Smith performed the enrollments.
After the service, attendees enjoyed lunch and a concert featuring The Salvation Army Brass Band, Songsters and Children’s Creative Ministries.
Kroc Center’s achievements recognized
At its annual conference, the Oregon Recreation and Park Association announced The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center as a multiple winner of Aquatics Section awards: 1) Excellence in programming—Boys and Girls Club Swim Lesson Collaboration; 2) Maintenance and Operations Award—Energy Savings Design; 3) Excellence in programming—Flick and Float events.
For more information about the center, visit www.SalemKroc.org.
Submitted by Cynthia Riley