Kroc Center gets $3M grant from Weinberg Foundation
By Will Hoover
Advertiser Staff Writer
The Salvation Army's Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center received a boost yesterday in the form of a $3 million grant from the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.
In making the presentation, Shale Stiller, president of the Maryland-based charitable foundation, said the two organizations share a goal — "to help people who are poor."
"The Kroc Center, which is symbolized by the phrase 'Opportunity and Hope,' is one that we are proud to be involved with," said Stiller at a presentation ceremony at the Sheraton Waikiki hotel.
The money will go toward construction of the 20,000-square-foot Weinberg Education and Resource Center — which, according to Don Horner, chairman of the project's steering committee, will be "the heartbeat of the entire Kroc Center."
The 120,000-square-foot Kroc Center in Kapolei is a $130 million project on track to be completed in 2011, said Horner. It will be the largest facility of its kind in the state. The center will provide programs for children, adults and seniors — particularly those in the Kapolei area.
The facility will include a 150-student preschool, afterschool activities, a 500-seat performing arts theater, an aquatic complex, and a multipurpose gym and fitness center, as well as a vocational training component for disadvantaged families and individuals.
Other major contributors have included the estate of Jack Lord, the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation, the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, the Department of Hawaiian Homelands and Kamehameha Schools.
Construction of the Kroc Center will result in hundreds of jobs, and following its completion, 100 permanent employee positions. The center will be built on 15 acres across from the University of Hawai'i-West O'ahu campus, at the intersection of the new North-South and East-West roads. The planned Honolulu rail transit system will stop directly in front of the facility.
Yesterday's gift represented the first $1 million of the foundation's total $3 million grant to the Kroc Center.
Since its beginning in 1990, the Weinberg Foundation has given hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to Hawai'i nonprofit organizations.