Opportunities to Grow: The Dowd’s Story

John and his wife Greta, both born and raised in Oconomowoc, are parents to three children: Alan (10), and twins Nolan and Clara (8).  John’s earliest childhood memories of the YMCA were playing sports and going swimming at the old facility on Silver Lake Street.  He says, “I have great memories of my time at the YMCA as a child.  Now as an adult and raising our children in Oconomowoc, it was only natural for us to join the YMCA and participate in the many wonderful programs they offer families!”

Over the last decade, John and Greta have been very involved in their kids’ activities at the Y.  The children began with swimming lessons at an early age, progressed to getting involved in many youth sports, and eventually ventured into rock climbing.  John and Greta share, “Participating in youth sports programs helps our children develop foundational, physical and social skills as well as learn teamwork.  They each have the opportunity to grow as individuals and explore their areas of interest in a caring environment.”  Thanks to the patience and encouragement of the rock climbing staff, they have seen their kids believe they can accomplish a difficult task over time.

The Y has also provided John with opportunities to volunteer as a coach.  Expressing his strong belief in serving others, John shares, “Coaching has been an ideal way to pay it forward to my hometown.”  At every practice and at every game, John strives to develop a strong team that supports one another, listens to each other, and has fun playing the game together.  He has enjoyed seeing the children develop as players and teammates over time.  John reflects on his youth sports days as “Positive experiences and some of my favorite childhood memories.  I hope the same for the children I’ve had the privilege to coach.”

John and Greta appreciate that through the Y, “All children are encouraged to keep trying, support one another, and know they belong in a caring, respectful community.”

“All children are encouraged to keep trying, support one another, and know they belong in a caring, respectful community.”

We’d love to hear your Y story!

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