Oswego, NY – It began at a YMCA in Spokane, Wash., with a young woman named Sonora Louise Smart. She was the daughter of a Civil War veteran, raising his children alone after the death of their mother. On Motherâ€™s Day in 1909, Sonora heard a sermon honoring mothers and wondered why there was no holiday for fathers. During a meeting at the Spokane, Wash. YMCA, she shared her concern with ministers. The nationâ€™s first Fatherâ€™s Day celebration took place at the Spokane Y on June 19, 1910, in William Smartâ€™s birth month.
Sonora Smart had suggested that fathers be honored through religious services, special meals, small gifts and the wearing of red roses. In 1972, President Nixon signed Fatherâ€™s Day into law. Today, the day dedicated to Dads has become increasingly an opportunity to lavish gifts and loving gestures on oneâ€™s father.
â€œToday, fathers play an enormous role in the lives of their children,â€ said Deana Masuicca, Executive Director of Oswego YMCA â€œWe see them daily, acting as coaches, teachers, role models and confidants, and our Y, as a leading community service organization, is totally committed in supporting and reassuring them,â€ Masuicca said.
Two recent â€œBuilding Strong Familiesâ€ studies by YMCA of the USA and the Search Institute of Minneapolis found that parents think theyâ€™re doing a good job raising their children but could always use more resources and occasional assistance â€” and reassurance, from trusted friends.
Sonora Louise Smart Dodd died at 96, but her legacy lives on. A monument to Sonora, her father and to all fathers, stands outside the Spokane YMCA, where today thousands of members enjoy a wide range of family programs.
Oswego YMCA offers programs like: family swim, tee-ball, basketball leagues,Little Dippers learn to swim, gymnastics, all designed to strengthen families. Celeberating the 100 year anniversary of Fatherâ€™s Day June 20,2010~Dads and children can swim for FREE that day at the Oswego Y.
â€œThis Fatherâ€™s Day, letâ€™s celebrate fathers and reach out to the fathers in your life with a pat on the back,â€ said Ms. Masuicca. â€œWhen we support parents, we begin to build strong kids and families, strong communities and a strong nation.â€
The Oswego YMCA is the oldest continuous community service organization. It has been active in Oswego since 1855. Our focus is on family and our membership is all-inclusive. We are convinced that every kid and every community deserves a YMCA. It is our belief that all kids are at-risk, not just “at-risk” kids. YMCA staff and volunteers are committed to teaching positive life skills, support and strengthening families, developing health in spirit, mind and body, offering quality experiences that are affordable and to creating an environment where everyone is welcome.
For more information please call 315-343-1981 or visit our website: www.oswegoymca.org or find us on Facebook @ Oswegoymca.