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Knox exceeded fundraising goal for Kroc Center by $2M

W hen Boone A. Knox was asked to spearhead a committee to raise $20 million for the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Augusta, he had only one stipulation: All that money had to be raised within a year.

Just three months later, Mr. Knox became sick. He later was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Miraculously with the help of many financially-able friends, Mr. Knox not only met the goal, but exceeded it by $2 million.

"It tickled me to death," Mr. Knox said of having exceeded the $20 million goal. "That was great."

One of the biggest financial contributors to the project was the Augusta National Golf Club, where Mr. Knox is one of the prestigious members.

"They put an enormous amount of money into that project," said Mr. Knox. "They were just great. They were, by far, the biggest financial supporter of the Kroc Center."

A pledge of $20 million needed to be raised so that the local Kroc Center would be eligible for a $68.8 million gift, which will not only build the center, but additionally fund its operations through an ongoing endowment.

"I told them from the start that I'd be glad to serve as chairman of the committee to raise the cash, provided we could do it within a year," explained Mr. Knox.

"I just didn't want to go beyond trying to raise money over a year. I said I would do all I could do to raise that amount of money."

Groundbreaking for the Salvation Army's Kroc Center took place earlier this year. Mr. Knox was able to attend the ceremony and talked a little about what that occasion meant to him during a recent interview.

"It will be great for the Augusta community and surrounding areas," said Mr. Knox.

The Kroc Center, which is expected to be completed sometime in 2011, will consist of a 100,000-square-foot building. It will be located on property off Broad Street overlooking the Augusta Canal.

The Kroc Center in Augusta, like similar ones in other cities across America, is being funded through the estate of Joan Kroc, the McDonald's heiress, who died and left the Salvation Army with a $1.7 billion gift.

All of the funds are to be used to build and endow Kroc centers throughout America.

Web posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010

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