I first entered our Club in 1985. It was located on S. State St. in a small rented building. A picture of that building hangs in Room 3. It was my first week of sobriety and I didn’t have a clue. It was smoke-filled and had a snack counter run by a strange man. You had to go down a steep and narrow set of stairs to get to the meeting rooms (also filled with smoke). No one told me to get out, and some of the people seemed friendly – so I stayed. Through the years, I’ve attended other meetings (held in churches), but to this day I consider our Club my spiritual home.
In my 2nd year of sobriety, we bought our current building on N. Maple and that was a very big deal. I was so clueless I didn’t realize how big a deal that was to have our own place! I definitely realize that now. I got sober on 5:35 meetings and could always drop in and find someone there to chat with. After about ten years I started to regain my life and develop interests that did not depend on alcohol. Although I continued to go to meetings at our Club, I wasn’t as involved in the day-to-day Club activities and responsibilities. My two kids married; I became a grandma to six grandkids; I retired, traveled, etc. & I wasn’t paying attention to Club affairs.
It wasn’t until several years ago, when the management of our Club started to go astray that I realized how much our Club meant to me. I, and others who believed as I did, re-involved ourselves, and our Club today continues its original mission. We learned that our Club is a fragile entity. It is a membership non-profit and, as such, depends on our patrons becoming members and participating. Not just in picnics, card nights, etc., but helping with the committees that organize these events, helping financially (when able), and voting for our Board of Directors. It truly is OUR Club.
Alcoholism has been called a disease of isolation. Our Club provides so many opportunities to involve ourselves in breaking that isolation. I encourage all of our patrons and members to help out where you best fit in, be it gardening, planning social events, or fundraising. Purchase a membership. A little goes a long way if we all participate together. My personal experience has been that service to our Club has been returned to me multiple times and in multiple ways.
AA meetings have kept me sober. Our Club, however, has provided benefits far beyond that: A place where I can meet up with folks “like me” and belong to the greater “WE”.
Thank you Pat, for your continued dedication to the WAC!
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