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Cadillac Area YMCA Receives $738,000 Donation

A founding board member of the Cadillac YMCA made a huge donation, ensuring that his legacy will live on. Dr. Don Lakin passed away a year ago. Lakin was heavily involved in the YMCA in Cadillac and was instrumental in getting the Dillon Community Center built.

The executive director and CEO of the Cadillac YMCA, Mike Kelso, said Lakin, who was a founding member, left a substantial amount of his estate to the YMCA. To the tune of $738,000.

“I think we had a sense that this was an important thing in his life but didn’t know until his passing that it would be this significant,” said Kelso.


The doctor who was an optometrist by day, along with his wife Pat, spent his spare time giving back.

Lakin was instrumental in developing the Dillon Community Center in Cadillac in 2009. Lakin was also gifted at getting others to get involved.

“Just a very, very giving person, humble and driven and a nice balance. I always say I hope someday I can figure out how to push and ask people to get to do things in a way and challenge in the way that he did, almost without people realizing they were being challenged,” said Kelso.

Lakin’s son Bill said the donation will ensure his father’s efforts will continue.


“I’m very excited that this the YMCA will be available for generations to come. And the fact that it already is in terms of our own family, having not only his children and grandchildren, but great grandchildren enjoying the Cadillac YMCA,” said Bill.

Bill said the donation is in line with who his father was.

“He really thoroughly enjoyed life and enjoyed the family and his community,” said Bill.