Who we are
The Alano Club of Kent County was founded in 1952 by five men seeking permanent meeting space for Alcoholics Anonymous groups. Originally housed at 330 Bond Street, the Alano Club moved to its current location when a local doctor donated his home to the organization in 1960.
The original purpose of the club was to provide a permanent and reliable meeting space for Alcoholics Anonymous groups and eventually for Al-Anon and Alateen groups. Meetings held in churches and other semi-public spaces are reliant on others for opening and closing the buildings. When a meeting cannot be held because the person opening the building is sick or away, it can be devastating to someone who desperately needs the support of a group that day.
For over 60 years, the Alano Club of Kent County has had a mission to serve those recovering from addiction by providing a welcoming place for support meetings and fellowship. Individuals come to the Alano Club in a variety of ways: some are referred by the Kent County Court System, some are referred by a health care provider, some come at the urging of family and/or loved ones, and some come on their own initiative. Regardless of how a person ends up at the Alano Club, when they get there, they become a part of the Alano Club family.
The Alano Club of Kent County is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization
Alcoholics Anonymous spread to Western Michigan in the late 1930s. The Alano Club of Kent County was incorporated in 1952 and met at a building on 330 Bond Street. The first Board of the Alano Club were Peter D., David A., Fred L., Earl S., Arthur D., and Wellon B..
After eight years of use, the Bond Street building become too small for its members and meetings. In December 1959, Dr. O. Nathan French donate its residence at 1020 College Ave. NE to the Alano Club and the club assumed the mortgage of $25,000.00.
Some money was raised individually to pay off the mortgage and also the Grand Rapids Foundation gave a sizeable donation to pay off the mortgage. The one man who really worked to make 1020 College happen was Dusty D. Unfortunately, Dusty didn't live to see the club open on College Ave. On June 1, 1960, the Alano Club moved to the College address and the name remained the same. At the time, Josephine and Joe Fished ran the club and lived in the building.
The Alano Club building has undergone two major renovations in 1982 and 2006. Many who have traveled to other clubs around the country have mentioned, "We would have to go a long way to find a club that is as good as this one is."
The purposes of the Alano Club today are the same as they always have been: 1) To provide quarters where A.A., Alanon, and other recovery groups can have their weekly meetings. 2) To furnish a place where members of A.A., Alanon and other recovery groups and their friends can relax and enjoy the fellowship during the day. and 3) To provide well planned, organized entertainment for all the same people.