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updated: 6/10/2013 10:27 AM

Father's Day Began at the YMCA

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B.R. Ryall YMCA

First celebrated in June 1910, at the Spokane YMCA in Washington, Father's Day is now recognized all over the world. Dads play a paramount role in children's lives, and the B.R. Ryall YMCA of Northwestern DuPage County is committed to helping foster those relationships.

Father's Day was founded by Sonora Louis Smart Dodd, the daughter of a single father who served in the Civil War. Smart Dodd got the idea from a Mother's Day event in 1909 and wondered why there was no such day for fathers. With the support and help from Christian ministers and YMCA employees in Spokane, Washington, Smart Dodd launched the first Father's Day at the YMCA, not knowing the day would become a nationally-recognized celebration. President Nixon signed Father's Day into law in 1972.

Current programs like Y Guides and Y Princesses foster understanding and companionship between children and their Dads. It features parent-and-child activities like camping, service learning projects, arts and crafts, storytelling and emphasizes the role of parents as guides in their child's life.

The B.R. Ryall YMCA also offers programs like: summer camps, parent-child swim classes, youth sports and family events all designed to strengthen families. "Today, father's play an enormous role in their children's lives. We see them daily, acting as coaches, teachers, role models and confidants, and our Y, as a leader in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, is committed to fostering these relationships to help the community continue to thrive," said Lynda Chott, CEO, B.R. Ryall YMCA.

For more information on the B.R. Ryall YMCA visit or call 630.858.0100.