ALANO SOCIETY OF CARLTON COUNTY Place and Space for Community 12-Step Meetings
The Alano Club became a reality in 1974 when non-profit status was achieved. The building, which had served first as a church and then as a carpet store, was donated to the Alano Society. Alano Society members donated time and received contributions from the community to upgrade the building for Alano club use.
The primary function of the Alano Society has always been to maintain and improve the Alano building which is located at 103 10 th St. in Cloquet, Minnesota, in order to provide space for community 12-step meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Alanon.
Each week, over 150 people attend 12- step meetings at the Alano club to help them in their recovery from alcoholism, and other addiction related issues.
There are a lot of people in Carlton County who have problems with drugs and alcohol. 2007 Community Health Board results show that there are more chronic drinkers, and there is more binge drinking among adults in Carlton County than the average for Minnesota. **24.2% of adults report binge drinking in Carlton County compared to the States 21.2% Problem drinking is a community problem with a community solution!
Nearly 25% of Carlton County youth participating in the 2007 MN Student survey reported that they are living with family members who have suffered consequences from drug or alcohol use. Young people, as well as anyone who lives with the effects of alcoholism, can benefit from attendance at supportive 12-step meetings such as Alanon, which are offered each week at the Alano Club.
Carlton County has a higher than average incidence of alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes (10.4% compared to States 9.8%).
Both the court system and chemical dependency treatment centers often require or recommend attendance at AA meetings for people who suffer from repeated consequences of substance abuse.
While attendance at AA meetings does not assure that people will quit drinking, research shows AA attendance is one of the most successful practices to bring about and maintain sobriety. Another good reason to invest in keeping the Alano Club available for meetings!
However, individuals with lower incomes or without medical insurance are less likely to enter costly treatment centers for alcoholism, and much more likely to take advantage of community based AA meetings which are free of charge to attend. Alcoholism and drug addiction affect people of all ages and incomes.
More reasons we need to keep the Alano Club open and available to the public, especially those facing socio-economic challenges: **More children in Carlton County (15.7%) live in poverty compared than the state average of 12.6%. (Bridge to Health 2006) **Unemployment in Carlton County is higher than the state average, at 6.3%, compared to the states 4.7%. (Bridge to Health 2006) **17% of Carlton County children were in out-of-home placement in 2004, which is 5% higher than the state average of 12%.(MN Kids Count 2006) **53% of our post-partum mothers show signs of depression, a feature known to be common among those with alcohol or drug problems. **Fetal alcohol syndrome is on the rise, and is a preventable problem that can be solved by pre-natal abstinence from alcohol.
Carlton County had a total of 74 suicides between 1990 and 2005 which places them 5 th highest in the state for suicides among Minnesotas 87 counties. There were three adolescent suicides during 2006 within a ten week span. Those who commit suicide frequently have lived with untreated alcoholism in themselves or in family members.
All of these risk factors point to the great need to offer support to people of all ages who are suffering from alcoholism or its affects, in the hopes that they can realize improved quality of life through attendance at Community 12-Step Meetings Alano Society Vision: Space and Place for Community 12-Step Meetings
However, paying the bills and completing upgrades to the Alano Club building are continual challenges for the Alano Society. Membership dues have remained at $1 per month since 1974. In recent years, there have been only 5-10 active members.
These challenges are not new, but there is a NEW ENERGY growing within the Alano Society membership. Realizing the need of many community members for the place and space provided by the Alano Club, Alano membership recently surged. Members are rallying around these key points: 1) Organizational leadership training for members 2) Fundraising to address immediate building envelope needs. 3) Development of a long-term fundraising plan.
Organization Leadership includes: 1)A membership drive than increased dues- paying membership from 5 to 32 in one month 2)Agreement by membership to pursue Lake Superior Initiative funding for leadership, organizational and financial planning 3)Agreement by membership to pursue several fundraising avenues to complete building upgrades and plan for the future.
As of April of 2008, the following steps have been taken to assure the future of the Alano Society and Club facility: 220 letters to areas businesses sent seeking financial support for building upgrades Grant applications made to Sappi, Walmart, Small Cities Development for building upgrades Application made to Lakes and Pines Initiative for help with organizational development and revenue planning for future needs
Building needs include: Window replacement, soffit and fascia replacement, awning repair and signage
There are also interior upgrades needed for insulation, heating and downstairs renovation.
Since January of 2008, the Alano Society has initiated several fundseeking and capacity building efforts: ** A mailing which netted $1,600 ** A spaghetti feed which raised $1,400 ** Preliminary work for a Small Cities Development Grant ** Grant applications to Sappi and Walmart seeking matching funds required for a Small Cities Development Grant ** Application to Lake Superior Initiative for funding to build organization capacity and revenue.
The Alano Society greatly appreciates support received to date from: Applebees B& B Market Benton, Elwin Black Bear Casino Carmens Classic Roofing Systems Cornerstone State Bank Dairy Queen Dennys Studio Eclipse Paint Erbert & Gerberts Eskomo Pizza Pies Fond du Lac G &G Fond Du Lac Reservation Business Committee Ford Chrysler Mercury of Cloquet Holiday Station Store Donald Jarvinen Keyport Liquor Little Stores of Cloquet L & M Supply McDonalds Rental & Video Mash-Ka-Wisen/Jim Mallory McDonalds of Cloquet The Medicine Shoppe Members Cooperative Credit Union Michaud Distributing Mother Nature & Company Outdoor Advantage Our Saviors Lutheran Church Pizza Hut of Cloquet Park Ave. Fitness Inc. Perkins of Cloquet Pine Journal of Cloquet Dr. Robert Poweless Ray Riihiluoma Inc. Schwans Schack Supper Club Super One of Cloquet Tejas & Baja Billys Thrivent Financial Tim Dahl, Realtor, Prism Realty Walmart Woodland Foods Workforce Center of Cloquet
So how you can help? Make a cash contribution to the Alano Society of Carlton County for building upgrades; all contributions are tax deductible as the Alano Club is a 501 C-3 non- profit organization Hold an event, donate items for drawings or silent auction fundraising events Become an Alano Society Board Member Tell someone else about the need to keep Place and Space for Community 12-Step Meetings alive in Carlton County!