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09/30/2010 3:58 PM ET
White Sox Charities grants Salvation Army $1 million
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Chicago White Sox Charities - the team's philanthropic arm - will donate $1 million to the Salvation Army Chicago Metropolitan Division to help build the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Chicago's West Pullman neighborhood. The Kroc Center is the largest single investment ever made by a social service organization in the city of Chicago.

State and local dignitaries - such as Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf - are scheduled to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Kroc Center on Thursday, October 7 at 1250 W. 119th St. in Chicago.

"Our commitment to the development of the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center is part of a dedication to bettering the lives of all Chicagoans," said Reinsdorf. "The White Sox, as a professional sports organization, are accountable to all of our fans and the entire Chicago community. We commend the Salvation Army for their work and devotion to the growth of people of all ages, races and genders, and we hope White Sox Charities' support will help the organization achieve its mission of building a community center to serve Chicagoans of all ages."

The Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Center will encompass three primary activities areas - recreational facilities, a Family Life and Education Center, and an Academy of the Arts.

The Kroc Center's state-of-the-art recreational facilities will include baseball and softball diamonds, where White Sox inner-city youth teams will play and train, fully equipped gymnasiums, an aquatic center, a water park, running tracks, tennis courts, a golf training area and a fitness center. The Family Life and Education Center will offer an array of classes and educational workshops for people of all ages, including job training, GED preparation, computer literacy, financial planning, parenting and nutrition. As a result of a diversity of programs, people of all ages will be drawn to the facility, making the Kroc Center a unique destination for the entire family. The Family Life and Education Center also will offer after-school programs for children. The Kroc Center's Academy of the Arts will include a performing arts center; an outdoor amphitheater; a media center with recording video production studios; as well as studios for instrument, vocal and art instruction.

The commitment to help build the Kroc Center is the fourth $1 million donation White Sox Charities has made since its inception. Two donations were made to the Chicago Park District, the first to restore baseball and softball fields in the city of Chicago, the second to build a new four field complex at Mount Greenwood Park on the South Side of the city, which includes fields for little league and high school baseball, girls softball and a specially-designed Miracle Field for children with special needs. The third $1 million donation in White Sox Charities' history went to Easter Seals of Metropolitan Chicago and its Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research. The funds helped Easter Seals build White Sox Field, designed to offer the school's students and Special Olympics athletes a unique venue to exercise, practice and play baseball.

White Sox Charities provides annual financial, in-kind and emotional support to hundreds of Chicago-based organizations, including those leading the fight against cancer or dedicated to improving the lives of Chicago's youth through education and athletics. Earlier this year, the organization awarded more than $1.2 million in grants and other monetary donations. This year's contributions, including the commitment to the Salvation Army, move the team's non-profit arm near $17.5 million in cumulative giving since its inception in 1990.

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