FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS​

Q    Is Alano Club's the same as AA? 

A    No, they are not the same.

 

AA, short for Alcoholics Anonymous, is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

 

After the rapid spread of Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930's, in the 1950's and thereafter, Alano Clubs popped up all around the country in efforts for people in AA to have a more "permanent place" to meet and gather. Under the leadership of a few good men, the Alano Club of Kent County was formed to be a more permanent place for AA meetings. Hence our name - AL (alcohol) AN (anonymous) O (organization). Over the years, the Club expanded it's programming to serve and support the families and friends of alcoholics (Alanon, Alateen) and expanded to support other programs surrounding addiction.

 

AA and the Alano Club(s) are two separate organizations; but the Alano Club supports AA by hosting their AA meetings and people of AA (and other recovery programs) support the Club, as it takes the treasure of money to keep the doors open and the lights on. In recovery, we are stronger together, and thus we all cheer each other on; and likewise, we should cheer on different recovery organizations that support the bottom line - the people in recovery. 

 

Q    Do I need to be a member of the Alano Club of Kent County to attend meetings there?

A    You do not need to be a member to attend meetings.  We are much like a church, just come as you are, and our Club is OPEN to EVERYONE.

 

If you become a regular, we encourage everyone to strongly consider becoming a member to help support our Club's mission. As a Club member, you are pledging (either annually or monthly) to support the Club's mission by helping ensure the operating expenses are met and help make ensure sustainability for our Club to always be OPEN for those who may need us. 

 

Q    What is a closed meeting?

A    Open meetings are open to the public - while closed meetings are closed to students or professionals who want to come in to observe for their college class or job. 

Q    I see a number of meetings for each group.  How do I know what meeting to attend?

A    If you are unsure about what meeting might be best for you, please ask the manager on duty either over the phone or in person, and they will be happy to help plug you into the meeting that suits you and your interests. Give is a call today at (616) 456-5709 and don't delay!

Q    What is up with all the different names of the meetings?

A    The different names just speak to the theme of the meeting and or are mostly nicknames. You are welcome to attend all of our meetings! 

Q    Will my anonymity be protected? 

A    Yes, everyone, and all programs that we host, honor anonymity. 

Q    What is the Alano Club of Kent County's hours? 

A    We are open from 8:00 AM to 9:15 PM every day of the year/365, to include holidays! 

Q    Can I come and hang out in the Club Cafe before or after the meeting?  

A    YES! We encourage it! Come and hang out in our Club Cafe and enjoy the music, free WiFi, and FELLOWSHIP! We encourage and welcome EVERYONE to come and kick back in our Cafe if it helps you stay sober. 

Q   I need to talk to someone about my drinking and need to talk to someone now. Is there anyone I can call?

A     YES! Call the Kent County Central Office 24 Hour AA Hotline at (616) 913-9149

Q   I need to talk to someone about substance abuse (drugs or alcohol) right now. Whom do I call? 

A   SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.

Q   I am in need of housing. Whom do I call? 

A    Call Network 180's 24-hour hotline at (616) 336-3765 and they can provide options to suit your needs. 

Q    Why does the Alano Club support other programs outside of AA and that is not 12-step based?

A    The Club was founded under the leadership of a few men to host Alcoholics Anonymous. We honor the founders by continuing to host Alcoholics Anonymous. We also honor the words and perspective of one of the founders of program Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson, who stated, “The roads to recovery are many and (that) the resolution of alcoholism by any method should be a cause for celebration by AA members.”

There is truth in Bill’s words, as we have heard many life-altering testimonies come out of each of the different programs that we host. Let us stand in agreement with Bill Wilson, validating that any road to recovery should be valued - and celebrated by all. Metaphorically speaking, we all don't drive the same car or wear the same shoe - likewise, the best program that works is the one that you work and the one that keeps you sober. Here at our Club, we celebrate all the programs and cheer on everyone in recovery. 

Q    How do I start a new meeting?

A    If it's a program that we already host, simply email our Operations Manager, Bryce, at blynn@gralanoclub.org

Q    I want to start a new program at the Club. How do I go about starting it?

A    Email Exec. Director, Grant Young, your proposed program that you would like to start. Next, Grant will forward for Board for approval. As a rule, the Club only supports programs that address the life-threatening disease of addiction/alcoholism and or those affected (family and friends) by addiction/alcoholism.

Q    Is there a fee to attend a meeting?

A    There is no required fee to attend meetings.  However, it is traditional that each group being fully self-supporting, the groups generally pass a basket for donations to cover the room rent. Do not feel obligated, but when you feel so moved, please give as you are able. 

Q    Are there service work and volunteer opportunities? 

A    YES! We welcome your talents and support! If you have a talent (graphic design, data entry, handyman, etc.) that you think the Club could benefit from, please do share and make yourself known! We also welcome volunteer support in our Club Cafe during our specialty meal days and a great opportunity to get to know our fellowship! 

 

Feel free to pursue the Operations Manager or Executive Director and we will be happy to plug you in of areas that we could use your help! Thank you in advance for your consideration to support our mission! 

Q    I am disabled and in a wheelchair. Is the Club structured to support people with disabilities? 

A    Yes, we are grateful that our Club has an elevator and ramp built into our building, as a means to help people in recovery who are disabled. 

Q    Does the Alano Club receive any city, state, or federal funding?

A     No. The Alano Club of Kent County receives no public funds at the federal, state, or local level.  The Club relies entirely on private donations to support its mission.

Q    Is the Alano Club of Kent County on Social Media?

A    Yes, encourage you to like and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIN. It's a great way to get the latest and greatest Club updates and an extension of accountability to stay plugged in! Scroll to the bottom of this webpage and you will see a "connect with us" section for the social media links. 

Q    Why does the Club have outside fundraisers? 

A    Our Club is not your average Club. We are the biggest Club in the nation. Even as a LEED Approved Building (energy efficient), on a monthly basis, we consume 5 houses worth of electricity! We have commercial HVAC units on our roof,  commercial kitchen, and staff on hand to keep our doors open all day long. We are in the "business of people" BUT it takes the treasure of money to keep our doors open and offer the amenities (elevator, cafe, licensing, insurance, etc.) that we offer. 

With your support, we are grateful to keep our doors open all day long. We have seen firsthand how it has helped the newcomer vs. pulling on the door and it is locked. 

 

Hence, we need to do fundraisers from season to season, to ensure we can maintain our Club's operations today, tomorrow, and into the future! 

Q    How do I become a member of the Club?

A    You can conveniently sign up in our Club Cafe or on our website homepage by clicking on the membership button!

You can either sign up for $84.00 a year or pay $7.00 a month. You will find our membership to be pretty cheap compared to most Clubs. We try to make it affordable and accessible to EVERYONE!

 

Membership benefits include FREE coffee, soda, and tea! We thank you for being a member and a stakeholder in our Club's great mission - of serving and supporting the recovery community! 

Q    How do I cancel my membership?

A    Simply pursue the Donor Director, Nick, at ncetlinski@gralanoclub.org or Exec. Director, Grant, at gyoung@gralanoclub.org 

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1020 College Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

(616) 456-5709

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alano club is open every day from 8:00 am to 9:15 PM (including holidays)

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