Dear Friends,


This Sunday is a special one…not only for me as a father of three young women, but for the Y as a whole. You see, Father’s Day originated at the Y, which makes us extremely proud to celebrate each year the influence fathers and adult male role models have in children’s lives.


Father’s Day began at a YMCA in Washington State with Sonora Louise Smart. She was the daughter of a Civil War veteran raising his kids as a single parent after the death of their mother. On Mother’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 YMCA, she shared her concern with ministers. That got the ball rolling and the nation’s first Father’s Day celebration took place at that very same Y on June 19, 1910.


As we celebrate this important holiday this weekend, let us not forget that 24 million — or one in three — children live without their biological fathers in the U.S. Studies show kids 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 recognizes how important it is for children to grow up with adult role models who are committed, responsible and involved. Dads need support to be the best parents and caregivers they can be, and this holiday helps to remind us of that. When we support parents, we begin to build better kids and families, better communities and a BETTER US.


The Tampa YMCA offers a variety of programs that foster understanding and companionship between children and their caregivers such as family socials, parent/child swim class, parent/child gymnastics, kids and family fitness classes, youth sports and Teen Achievers.


In addition, during open gym and pool periods at the Y, we encourage dads to hang out with their kids, enjoying some quality time together and strengthening the parent/child relationship. You’ll enjoy it, and your kids will too! To learn more, visit your nearest Y or visit


Don’t forget if you buy a Father’s Day gift online, you can make a charitable contribution to the Tampa YMCA for all Amazon purchases. Click here and Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the Tampa Y at no extra cost to you! Thanks for your support!


See you at the Y,


Tom Looby

CEO & President


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