YMCA CELEBRATES FATHER'S DAY
Each year, the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas celebrates the anniversary of Father’s Day by honoring local Dads as the YMCA Fathers of the Year. These Dads are honored at their local branches along with an association-wide evening celebration of family fun.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas established the “Father of the Year” award to recognize the significant impact fathers make in the lives of their children. Each year, the Dallas YMCAs accept nominations from family members in each local community who wish to honor a father with this special award. Each local YMCA chose a “Father of the Year” from their community.
“Every year we receive so many outstanding nominations for this award,” said Gordon Echtenkamp, President/CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. “Narrowing the field is always a difficult task, yet we realize what wonderful and positive parenting is happening on a daily basis in our community.”
Father’s Day was founded by Sonora Louis Smart Dodd, the daughter of a single father who served in the Civil War. Her father was widowed when his wife (Mrs. Dodd's mother) died in childbirth with their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington State. It was after Mrs. Dodd became an adult that she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent.
On Mother’s Day in 1909 Smart Dodd heard a sermon honoring mothers and wondered why there was no similar tribute for fathers. With the support of ministers and the YMCA in Spokane, Smart Dodd launched the first Father's Day celebration at the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father's Day. Finally in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's Day and President Nixon signed Father’s Day into law in 1972.
Click here to see the YMCA Father of the Year Winners Gallery.