Father's Day & the Y—Where it all began

15 June 2022
Dad and son

Father’s Day is More than Just a Day in June!

Recognizing the important role father figures play in the lives of many

Inspired by a Mother’s Day sermon over 100 years ago, Sonora Louis Smart Dodd wondered why there was no similar holiday for fathers. One of six children, Dodd’s father was a single father and she felt he and others deserved to be honored. 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. Many years passed before the day became a national holiday, but today we use the day to honor the fathers and father figures in our lives.  

On Sunday, June 19, the YMCA of South Hampton Roads joins the nation in celebrating Father’s Day and recognizing the influence father figures and adult male role models have in children’s lives (at every stage of life!). The Y, a leading nonprofit in fostering positive youth development, is dedicated to providing both resources and opportunities for fathers to further involve themselves in the well-being and development of their children and engage together. 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 YMCA of South Hampton Roads offers a variety of programs that foster understanding and companionship between children and their caregivers such as opportunities to volunteer together though the Togetherhood program, offering parents and caregivers the role of youth sports coach for their child’s team and even family events and family days to come have fun together. 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.

This year for Father’s Day, treat your father/father figure/mentor/loved one to a day at the Y—we are opening our doors for our members to welcome their father figure/mentor etc to the Y with them! What better way to celebrate Dad than to give the gift of a healthy routine?*

*all guests are required to present a valid photo ID and sign a guest waiver before accessing a YMCA facility.