Alcoholics Anonymous History In Your Area
Eastside Center—OUR STORY
By Larry M., June 2000
For 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.
The 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.
A 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 search.
Over 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.
The 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.
A 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.
Many 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.
The 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 dinner.
The 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 a manager. This includes buying supplies and cleaning the building.
By September, over $10,000 had been raised and many thousands of dollars in time and materials contributed to the building. More than fifty tradespeople 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.
1. 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.
2. WHO OWNS EASTSIDE CENTER, INC.?
The members of Eastside Center, Inc. are the same as stockholders in a regular corporation.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. WHERE DOES THE INCOME GO?
30% to pay for the building, 30% to purchase supplies & pay utilities, and 30% for managers, cleaning and bookkeeping.
8.DO 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.
9.WHO 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.
10.DOES 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.
* Historical Notes
These notes are intended to clear up any misunderstanding concerning “Our Story” on our web site.
“Our 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 clubhouse.
*Not 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.
Also 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.
Eastside Center also has “groups” that contribute as they see fit.
Webmaster, Eastside Center
— http://www.eastsidecenter.org/ —