Dorothy and Stella C.

Lakewood Family YMCA

At the Lakewood Family YMCA, everybody knows Dorothy and her daughter, Stella. Stella greets everyone as they walk through the Y with a smile and a wave. After joining in 2017, the Cates family has found connection and community that is vital as a military family.

“The thing I love the most is that there really is a community here,” Dorothy shared. “This Y in particular, for us, is our home away from home.”

Dorothy and Adam Cates grew up going to the Y in Bremerton and have spent many years moving around for Adam’s job in the Army. Being a part of the Y community has been a huge support after relocating and when Adam is deployed. Stella is involved in many activities, but Little Learners and swimming lessons have been her favorite.

“The Y is a great place to stay active, but it also offers a sense of community and support. Personally, the support as a military spouse to go somewhere you are known and understood has been vital," said Dorothy. "Yes, we have gyms on post, but you don’t get that same support and comradery. The activities for Stella have been invaluable. To see her grow socially has been incredible.”

From the families they have forged friendships with through programs to the deeper connection the Y’s cause through volunteering for the Annual Campaign, Cates family has found much more than a gym at the Y.

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