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Newest Kroc Center Opens in Dayton

DAYTON, OH -- Just a week after The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center opened last month in Dayton, OH, it had nearly 600 members.

The 17.5-acre property hosts a fitness center with cardio and strength equipment, a walking track, locker rooms, and 400-seat indoor and outdoor basketball courts. In addition, the community center features a technology café, movie theater, dance studio, piano lab, early childhood resource center and more.

The Dayton facility is the seventh Kroc center to open nationwide. The center’s construction was funded partly by a gift from Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc. When Joan Kroc died in 2003, she left $1.5 billion to The Salvation Army to build community centers in underserved neighborhoods. It was the largest charitable gift The Salvation Army has ever received.

The Dayton Salvation Army received $69 million from the Kroc estate and used half of the money to fund the center’s construction. It plans to use the remaining funds for operational expenses. The local charity was charged with raising $6 million to qualify for Kroc Center funds. It raised $7 million from private donors.

“The outpouring of kindness from the business and community leaders in Dayton has been absolutely remarkable,” Major Tom Duperree, head of The Dayton Salvation Army, said in a statement. “Their charitable giving has helped The Salvation Army meet its obligation to the Joan Kroc estate to raise a portion of the funds locally. As importantly, it is personally gratifying to know that so many people share our vision for a better community.”

The Dayton Kroc Center offers annual adult memberships for $60 and family memberships for $120. Membership fees also will be charged on a sliding scale based on income levels, according to The Salvation Army.

Two more Kroc centers are slated to open this year, and 15 more are scheduled to open in 2011. A total of 25 Kroc centers will be built once the project is complete, according to The Salvation Army.

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