San Diego honors generous spirit of Joan Kroc
“The real gift is the Lord’s gift of Joan Kroc—to this community, to the people within it, to people in poor communities throughout the nation, and to The Salvation Army whom she trusted to make it happen.”
So stated Commissioner Linda Bond on the occasion of San Diego’s recognition of the announcement in Washington D.C. by the Army’s national commander of a gift by Joan Kroc in excess of $1 billion dollars to allow the Army to replicate, nationwide, the significant and remarkable success of The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in her hometown of San Diego.
Sierra del Mar Divisional Leaders Lt. Colonels Douglas and Diane O’Brien chaired the press conference; O’Brien introduced Western Territorial Commander Commissioner Linda Bond and Lt. Colonels Donald and Debora Bell, former Sierra del Mar divisional leaders.
Also participating were Kroc Community Center Administrators Majors Tim and Cindy Foley and Kroc Corps Officers Majors Brian and Millie Bearchell.
Former San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor, an inspirational friend to Mrs. Kroc and to The Salvation Army attended, as did members of San Diego’s Metropolitan Advisory Board.
Mrs. Kroc’s desire was for all people, regardless of circumstances, to reach their potential and to find enrichment through the arts and sports programs.
Even during her illness, she continued to visit the Kroc Center; shortly before her death arriving in a wheelchair to view the Henry Moore bronze sculpture “Large Figure in a Shelter,” which she had donated, and is now displayed in the library garden.
After Bond addressed the group, guests enjoyed brunch while viewing video clips of Mrs. Kroc from the first 1998 announcement, the groundbreaking, the dedication and the celebration with Tony Bennett at the opening of the Joan B. Kroc Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Officers and Salvation Army staff were invited to share their favorite Joan Kroc stories. The generous spirit of Mrs. Kroc was the overriding theme of the stories shared, along with her desire that all be able to share in opportunities for self-expression and her wish for peace in the world.