Healthy Life, June 2015

Father’s Day Began at the YMCA!

by Kristen Hogan

senoraMore 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, Washington, her idea came to fruition with the first Father’s Day celebration at the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910.

On Sunday, June 15, the YMCA of the Capital Area 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. Societal factors such as unemployment, work-life balance or a lack of resources can affect a father’s 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.

“One way to improve child well-being is to increase the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers and adult male role models,” said Kristen Hogan, Marketing Director, YMCA of the Capital Area. “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 Y provides many opportunities for families to spend quality time together. Parents can volunteer as a coach and coach their child’s sports team. Families can participate in several of our family wellness classes such as family yoga, family Zumba®, family aqua and more. The Y also offers splash nights, flick and floats, family nights and other activities to bring families together. The Y encourages families to live a healthier lifestyle. The Y provides many tools, tips and resources on their website; visit for tips on how you can create a healthy family home.

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 visit