On September 22, 1986…….
Charlie Y. and Stan N. first learned about “clubhouses” or “24 hour clubs” in other cities and states for recovering alcoholics and addicts that began springing up in the 1930’s after the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. At these clubhouses, men and women in recovery could find a safe place to hold meetings, find and participate in fellowship, and get information and support on the recovery process.
As more of these clubhouses were established across the country (and now the world), they became known as Alano Clubs – established, not for profit hubs to find friendly, understanding, and experienced faces that serve the recovery community and their families. Even people in recovery traveling far from home, will commonly search for where the Alano Club is that town or city to find meetings and fellowship 365 days a year. As Charlie and Stan learned more about these Alano Clubs, they decided this concept is what they wanted to start in Lexington. And the story of how that happened is simply magical……
First they contacted their friend Bill R. a seasoned real estate developer to find a location that would fit their budget. Ironically, it was an old shut down funeral home just outside the downtown area. As if the previous owners had just locked the doors and went home forever, all their old equipment, tables, chairs, podium, and speaker system in the viewing room was still there and in great condition.
Stan exclaimed “This is great! We won’t have to do anything!” when he saw they had all they needed to start 12 step meetings right away. “But, the embalming machines need to go”. (Yes, that was left behind too).
The men realized in awe of God’s grace how a place where people go in bodily death would now become a place where people would come for personal resurrection.
The location was beyond perfect. Centrally located in Lexington and very accessible to financially disadvantaged individuals wanting recovery, this meeting place epitomized the essence of all 12 step programs – that recovery from addiction is the undiscriminating denominator that bonds us. Education, birthright, gender, willpower, or other forms of personal aptitude are irrelevant in the disease of addiction. We once were and are all the same – addicts that wanted recovery.
When the doors of the Lexington Alano Club opened, not only was it a place where the regular AA members reunited, but right away there was an influx of newly sober individuals from the rehabs and jails wanting recovery. This created the perfect mix of support, guidance, and fellowship – where those who have received give back as they have been given so freely.