SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) — The Salvation Army Kroc Center in east San Diego celebrated its 20th anniversary on Sunday.
The center first opened its doors back in 2002. It was designed to offer all kinds of educational and recreational activities for kids and families in underserved neighborhoods.
On site, guests can enjoy swimming pools, an ice rink, a skate park, playground, a family resource center and more.
It was the vision of philanthropist Joan Kroc, who wanted to help a part of San Diego that had been left behind.
“I was troubled with what I observed … and it left a deep impression with me,” Kroc said two decades ago. “[I wanted] to try to do something to make life a little better, happier for the families.”
Kroc donated $87 million dollars to the Salvation Army to bring the project to life.
“The dream of the Kroc center in San Diego has never changed. Joan saw that people needed to have opportunity,” said Lt. Col. Cindy Foley, Salvation Army.
Cindy Foley and her husband Tim Foley worked alongside Kroc to develop the center. Kroc passed in 2003, just a year after its grand opening.
“I saw her a couple weeks before her death and she told us this has been the greatest joy of her life,” said Lt. Col. Tim Foley.
On Sunday, both Tim and Cindy Foley attended the 20th anniversary celebration held at the center. It featured several guests, performances and awards.
During the ceremony, Kroc’s granddaughter took the stage and shared: “I am certain she is in heaven looking down on all of us today beaming with joy after the last 20 years. The Salvation Army continues to deliver on their promise.”
That promise: to help young San Diegans reach their full potential.
For more information about the center and its current programs click here.