The Norman Transcript

June 23, 2013

Cleveland County Family YMCA recognizes local father

Transcript Staff
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The Cleveland County Family YMCA celebrated fathers and positive male role models with an annual Father’s Day contest.

The Y staff chose father of the year from candidates that Y members nominated. This year’s winner was Frank Robinson. He was nominated by his wife, Connie, because of his dedication through rough times to always be with his daughter, Ruby.

Throughout the last five years, Frank has given up everything to follow his daughter across the country to continue their relationship despite his divorce from her mother. Frank taught Ruby how to swim using the Y pool and now coaches her T-ball team at the Y.

More than a century ago, Sonora Louis Smart Dodd aspired to create a holiday to honor fathers. The daughter of a single father and Civil War veteran was inspired by a Mother’s Day sermon and wondered why there was no holiday for fathers. 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. 

On June 16, the Cleveland County Family YMCA joined the nation in celebrating Father’s Day and recognizing the impact fathers and adult male role models make in children’s lives.

Nationally, one out of three children lives in a home without their biological father, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And, societal factors — such as unemployment, work-life balance or a lack of resources — can affect fathers’ ability to seek support in strengthening their parenting skills and more fully engaging in their children’s lives.

“As a nonprofit committed to strengthening the community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y believes that strong family bonds are a foundation of strong communities, and we work to help all families to learn, grow and thrive,” said Joe E. Paslay Jr., president and chief executive officer of the Cleveland County Family YMCA. “Today, Father’s Day reminds us why it’s important to recognize fathers and provide them with the support that they need to be the best parents and caregivers they can be.”

To learn more about programs and activities available at the Y, call 364-YMCA (9622) or visit