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Anonymous history in your area
By Larry M., June 2000
the past several years interest has grown among AA members
in an east side clubhouse. The first annual Alcothon held
at the Eastgate Holiday Inn was the spark that lit the fire.
momentum gathered from that successful Alcothon spurred
on the organizers. Guidelines for organizing clubs were
obtained from the New York Central Office. The Tri-County
Center was selected as a model. Visits were made to the
Center and a sponsorship relationship developed. Legal and
financial models furnished by Tri-County were used to draft
the Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws for a new center.
meeting of nine members, held at Perkins restaurant in February
launched the effort. The name "Eastside Center, Inc."
was selected. The "Grateful Givers" was selected
as the name for soliciting contributions and membership
to support the Center. Before adjourning the meeting, seven
members agreed to sign as incorporators and two members
were assigned as a search committee for locations. The Route
32 corridor was targeted as the most central area to concentrate
the next two weeks, five potential properties were reviewed.
Building an all new structure was explored. Renting versus
owning was debated. Among the alternatives, the building
at 1134 Old State Route 74 most resembled the Tri-County
Center in size and layout. However, major repairs would
be required and the ownership was clouded by an existing
land contract held in an Estate still in Probate.
manager and contractor from Tri-County were used as consultants
to study the feasibility of this project. On March 1, 1992,
a contingent contract to purchase was signed by a trustee
for the Eastside Center, Inc. with the incorporation filing
in process. Our Higher Power had taken charge. The series
of events and circumstances of the next ninety days could
be explained no other way.
retired builder undertook the task of developing plans for
rehabbing the building. The Tri-County contractor prepared
cost estimates from the plans. A budget was developed using
financial information supplied by Tri-County and Oak Street.
A member with contracting experience became the project
director and proceeded to rewire the entire building. Volunteers
appeared to clean out this thoroughly trashed facility.
The boarded up front window bore the number 1134 like a
badge of honor.
generous contributions ranging from $2000 to $2 were received.
Over fifty members pledged support to the Grateful Givers.
The mood of the organizers ran from panic to euphoria. The
traditions were proven, as problems of personalities and
prestige, otherwise called ego, ran rampant.
contract to purchase the building for $67,600 was ticking
away. The prospect of finding a way to finance the purchase
in time seemed dim. We became powerless over the outcome
and our Higher Power delivered the required answers. The
owner of the building, a neighbor and supporter, agreed
to allow us to assume the land contract from the Estate.
A grateful member loaned us the $15,000 required to pay
off the Estate. Generous contributions of time and materials
from the members in the trades soon made the building usable.
The doors opened for business within three weeks following
the closing of the land contract. A new roof was installed
in an 18 hour blitz. Many AA groups purchased tables and
chairs for the meeting rooms. A cooler was donated by the
owner of Perkins. The coffee equipment was supplied by a
member in the business. Committees were formed, fundraisers
were held ranging from picnics to yard sales to a spaghetti
Tuesday night Mt. Carmel group was the first to move to
the center. Other meetings were started immediately on other
nights. The first Al-Anon meeting began within a month.
Every week as members came back to meetings, the building
was changing. The boarded up window was replaced and other
windows installed. During the third month, two members were
hired to perform the duties of manager. This includes buying
supplies and cleaning the building.
September, over $10,000 had been raised and many thousands
of dollars in time and materials contributed to the building.
More than fifty trades people have participated and more
than a hundred members have volunteered to start and attend
meetings. The Eastside Center is in every way a reality.
The building is now complete except for carpeting. The work
on the parking lot continues and will be complete by the
end of October. November 17, 1992, will be the Centers six-month
anniversary of operations. We can only imagine what our
Higher Power has in store over the next six months.
WHO OWNS THE CENTER?
Eastside Center, Inc. is a non profit corporation. This
is the same way 405 Oak St., Inc. and Tri-County Center,
Inc. are owned.
WHO OWNS EASTSIDE CENTER, INC.?
The members of Eastside Center, Inc. are the same as stockholders
in a regular corporation.
WHO ARE THE MEMBERS?
Any member of Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-Anon who actively
participates at the Center by attending meetings, volunteering
at the coffee bar, cleaning up and contributing when possible
to the basket when it is passed.
WHAT IS THE GRATEFUL GIVERS?
Many members and groups choose to make a monthly pledge
to support the purchase of and improvements to the Center.
This savings account guarantees the solvency of the Center.
HOW DID WE BUY THE BUILDING AND PAY FOR IMPROVEMENTS?
Eastside Center, Inc. signed a land contract for the purchase
due in five years. $15,000 was borrowed and paid as a down
payment. The total purchase price will be $70,000. Money,
time and material contributed paid for $60,000 worth of
improvements and equipment. Our budget for paying for the
building is $800 per month.
HOW DOES THE CENTER SUPPORT ITS OPERATION AND PAY FOR THE
BUILDING UTILITIES AND MAINTENANCE?
Sales at the coffee bar, including literature, and contributions
in the basket passed at meetings make up the total income.
Grateful Givers supplement this income.
WHERE DOES THE INCOME GO?
30% to pay for the building, 30% to purchase supplies &
pay utilities, and 30% for managers, cleaning and bookkeeping.
THE MEETINGS AT THE CENTER SUPPORT AA?
The treasurer of the center makes the 60-30-10 contribution
to AA on behalf of the meetings at the center. Tri-County
is the largest contributor to Intergroup in Cincinnati.
RUNS THE CENTER?
A board of trustees elected by the membership serves for
two years. Four members will be elected each year beginning
in January, 1993. The trustees hire managers, bookkeepers,
cleaning and maintenance personnel. They elect officers,
which are a chairman, treasurer, secretary, Grateful Givers
treasurer, literature chairman, operation's and meeting
chairpersons. Open trustee meetings with the membership
invited will be held twice a year. The books and records
of a non-profit corporation are available for review by
any member upon request.
THE EASTSIDE CENTER VIOLATE THE SIXTH TRADITION OF AA?
No. The Eastside Center, Inc. is not AA. It is a non-profit
corporation owned by members of AA. It's business is to
own, operate and rent a facility exclusively for the use
of AA and Al-Anon's meetings and their members.
notes are intended to clear up any misunderstanding concerning
Our Story on our web site.
Story was written in 1992 by one of the founders and
was reprinted here for purely historical purposes and is
not intended to misrepresent any current policy. Nor was
it placed here to distort any facts about AA or any affiliated
organizations. It was written as an attempt to answer frequent
questions and explain the structure and rules of the new
everything in this text came to pass; i.e.: The answer to
question number 8. After the fact it was discovered that
AA does not accept donations from clubhouses.
misleading is the statement that Tri-County was a contributor
to Intergroup, what this refers to was the groups
at Tri-County as a whole.
Center also has groups that contribute as they