Big things coming to the City of Camden, and Adventure Aquarium is so excited to play a part!
During a press conference today, Adventure Aquarium’s Executive Director Kevin Keppel announced a multi-tiered $25,000 contribution to The Salvation Army’s Kroc Corps Community Center, under construction in the Cramer Hill neighborhood of Camden.
Included in the donation is a custom 7’ x 4’ fish exhibit featuring live marine life from around the world that will be installed in the Kroc Center’s Town Plaza – an exhibit that will be maintained by Aquarium staff. A cash contribution of $10,000 will go to support of the Building Hope and Changing Lives campaign, the dedicated fund responsible for the construction of the Kroc Center.
“We are pleased to support the Kroc Center from a monetary standpoint and by the contribution of a tank, but we are equally pleased that our valued employees will be enthusiastic volunteers who have so much to offer members of the community,” said Keppel. “While the Aquarium is always happy to welcome visitors from around the region, we strive to keep close ties to the residents of Camden and the activities going on in the City. We believe the construction of the Kroc Center is one of the most exciting initiatives underway in Camden today.”
“We are grateful for this generous contribution from Adventure Aquarium,” said Major Paul Cain, Kroc Center Administrator. “This partnership is yet another indication of Adventure Aquarium’s commitment to Camden and neighboring communities. One of our major goals is to deliver best-in-class resources. Our relationship with Adventure Aquarium aligns the Kroc Center with a world-class resource that we are lucky to have right in our backyard.”
During his remarks, Senator Donald Norcross said, “Adventure Aquarium is a good neighbor committed to being a part of the fabric of the community. “Thanks to Kevin for the generous contribution and a special thank you to Aquarium employees for their interest in volunteering and for maintaining the tank at the Kroc Center. This truly is a win-win for everyone involved – I can’t wait for the Kroc Center’s opening day.”
Construction on the $90 million Kroc Center began in November 2012. The 120,000 square-foot facility will create 160 new jobs and will open in early October 2014. The Kroc Center features family and fitness services, education and outreach, an eight-lane competition pool and water park, a chapel, a black box theater and dance studio. It also features indoor and outdoor basketball courts and ball fields.
The Kroc Center in Camden is one of 27 community centers in underserved neighborhoods nationwide. In 2004, The Salvation Army USA announced that it would receive nearly $1.6 billion from the estate of Mrs. Joan Kroc. Inspired by a center she created with The Salvation Army in San Diego, her gift would act as a lead grant to construct and partially endow the other centers. Mrs. Kroc wanted each center to be a “beacon of hope and an agent of change,” providing opportunities for people of all ages to build a better life.
Follow the Kroc Center on Facebook for progress updates.