The Kroc Center Story

Kroc Centers are a gift to their communities, thanks to Joan Kroc and The Salvation Army.

How Kroc Centers went from vision to reality

Joan Kroc, wife of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, said that she took a tour of San Diego and it was then that she recognized a community that was in desperate need of a safe gathering place, a place with facilities and trained professionals to nurture children’s social skills, arts appreciation and athletic potential. She described The Kroc Center as being a beacon of light and hope in the community.

Mrs. Kroc entrusted The Salvation Army with $90 million to build the first Kroc Center in the Rolando neighborhood of San Diego. Sadly, she passed away a little more than a year after it opened. She was so pleased with what was accomplished there that she left $1.5 billion to The Salvation Army to build centers like it across the country. Today, there are 26 Kroc Centers nationwide, including the one in Grand Rapids.

About The Grand Rapids Kroc Center

The 105,000 square-foot Grand Rapids Kroc Center is all about changing lives together. This place of gathering, growth, and enrichment houses an array of education, sports, faith, and arts programs. The programs, as well as the building itself, have been designed to stimulate the mind, body and spirit, to provide hope, and to transform the life of each and every member of the community.

The Kroc Center is comprised of several major components: a worship center and special event space, an aquatics center, a fitness and recreation center, a gymnasium, and an outdoor campus. The facility opened to the public on November 1, 2010.

A 2015 study found the value of economic impact of the construction of the Kroc Center was approximately $52 million, and that the annual operation of the Kroc provided $8 million of economic value to the Grand Rapids area.

The Salvation Army Mission

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

Learn more about The Salvation Army.

The Kroc Center’s Purpose

Sharing the love of Jesus Christ by providing life-changing experiences.

Our Core Values

We value quality in everything we do.

The Kroc Center strives to offer a broad spectrum of impactful, innovative programs and services.

We value a Kroc Krew that is committed, caring and engaged.

The Kroc Center’s employees and volunteers consistently demonstrate radical hospitality and a desire for continual improvement.

We value authentic relationships.

The Kroc Center pursues personal connections that promote holistic wellness in an environment of security and significance.

We value a thriving community.

The Kroc Center cultivates a sense of place that bonds people together and makes our whole neighborhood stronger.

We value all people as children of God.

The Kroc Center intentionally strives to reflect and embrace the diverse population we serve.