Celebrating Fathers, A Tradition Started at the YMCA

By: Duneland Family YMCA Last Updated: June 18, 2015

YMCA-Yellow-GreenMore than a century ago, Sonora Louis Smart Dodd aspired to create a holiday to honor fathers. Dodd, the daughter of a single father and Civil War veteran, was inspired by a Mother's Day sermon and wondered why there was no holiday for fathers. After securing support from ministers in Spokane, Wash., her idea came to fruition with the first Father's Day celebration at the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910.

On Sunday, June 21, the Duneland Family YCMA joins the nation in celebrating Father's Day and recognizing the impact fathers and adult male role models make in children's lives. Nationally, one out of three children lives in a home without their biological father, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Additionally, societal factors such as unemployment, work-life balance or a lack of resources can affect fathers' ability to seek support in strengthening their parenting skills and more fully engaging in the lives of their children. A leading nonprofit in fostering positive youth development, the Y remains dedicated to providing resources and opportunities for fathers to further involve themselves in the well-being and development of their children.

"Father's Day is about celebrating dad, but also recognizing the importance of children growing up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers and adult male role models," said Dave Kasarda, Duneland Family YMCA CEO. "Father's Day reminds us why it's important to provide fathers with the support they need to be the best parents and caregivers they can be."

Studies show that children with close relationships with their fathers and other adult male role models have more self-confidence and exhibit less depression, perform better academically and engage in significantly less drug and alcohol use.

The Duneland Family YMCA offers a variety of programs that foster understanding and companionship between children and their caregivers such as the importance of family nights and engaging fathers to become part of their child's education and mentoring processes. In communities across the country, the Y is committed to ensuring that the 9 million children and teens in YMCA programs reach their full potential by helping them grow physically, mentally and socially from young children into active, engaged members of their communities. To learn more about programs and activities available at the Duneland Family YMCA, call (219) 926-4204.