By Deanna Fené
First Coast News
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- A local businessman credits the YMCA with giving him the jump start he needed when he was young to become a success.
Tony Knott grew up just like every other kid. His family didn't have a lot of money, but he soon discovered the YMCA and it helped shape his life.
"It helped me direct a lot of my energy.. and I was around folks with strong beliefs and Christian ethics and morals, philosophies, it fit with my family style as well," says Knott.
As a child, teenager and an adult, he kept coming back to the YMCA. He was a lifeguard in the summer, a gymnastics coach and for the past 25 years, an enthusiastic volunteer.
"He's personally been our general contractor to build many of the buildings on the our facility and whenever something comes up we know we can count on Tony to help us out," said Dorothy Barrell with the Bob Dye Clay Family YMCA.
Knott has served in every possible capacity as a volunteer and currently he is serving as chairman of the board for their annual fund raising campaign.
He says one of the projects he's most proud of is starting the Daystar Center, a place to help adults with special needs.
"It's going on it's seventh year, it has been a tremendous success. We have about 15 participants, including my daughter," says Knott.
His daughter, Rhonda was born with a severe brain injury. Once Rhonda graduated from high school she needed a place to go during the day, that is when Daystar was born.
From creating a new place for adults with special needs, to working as a general contractor and meeting with inspectors, Tony continues to give back to the YMCA and all the people it serves.
That is why Tony Knott is one of 12 Who Care.
First Coast News