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JER Chilton YMCA selects annual father of the year

(ROCKWALL, TX — May 17, 2017) So many fathers make such a big impact on the people in their lives that it’s strange to think that Father’s Day was not always celebrated. However, the tradition was not started until 1910, when Sonora Louise Smart Dodd decided to create a day to honor her father, William Smart. William raised his children as a single father after his wife died in childbirth with their sixth child. Sonora realized the strength and selflessness that her father displayed was worthy of celebration and worked with the Spokane YMCA and the Spokane Ministerial Association to create a day where fathers could be honored and recognized. June 17, 1910 was proclaimed Father’s Day by Spokane’s mayor because it was Smart’s birth month.

To celebrate Father’s Day and its connection to the YMCA association, each year the Dallas YMCAs accept nominations from family and community members for fathers who have made a significant impact in the lives of children in the community. The fathers that win the nominations are honored at their local YMCA as well as at an association-wide event.

This year, the J.E.R Chilton YMCA at Rockwall has awarded the annual Father of the Year 2017 title to Shane Cariker.

Cariker was nominated by his wife Brittney Cariker, out of thankfulness to her husband for introducing her and their children to Christ.

She described Cariker as “committed to being the best father by investing in his marriage.”

“He leads his family and others in faith, finances, and fitness by being Christ’s’ witness,” Brittney Cariker said in her nomination essay. “Not only are the people in his home important to him, but he also carries the burden of those who are not saved that work for him. He tries to serve them by showing them Jesus in his every day caring actions.”

Cariker is the supervisor at eight Domino’s Pizza locations, but always makes time for church with his family and to attend a weekly a marriage ministry to continually strengthen his bond with his wife. In his down time, Brittney Cariker said he has logged “thousands of miles” on YMCA treadmills.

“Staying spiritually fit is a lifetime commitment that reaps rewards for generations to come,” her essay concludes. “Another piece of his living legacy is in the wisdom he has taught his family and others about the importance of being physically fit and active.”

According to Gordon Echtenkamp, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, it’s not easy to select just one Father of the Year.

“Every year we receive so many outstanding nominations for this award,” said Echtenkamp. “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.”

Congratulations to Shane Cariker and all other YMCA Father of the Year winners!

Submitted press release.

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