The History of Alkathon’s
Alkathon’s during the holidays have been part of the AA experience for many years. They serve to provide a safe sober environment for thousands of recovering people at his emotionally difficult time of year. I searched for something about their origin and came up with the origin of one in Ottowa, Canada that captures the spirit of these great events. In Delray Beach the Alkathons are at Central House and run from Noon on 12/24 to Midnight 12/25 and from noon on 12/31 to Midnight 1/1. Check your local Intergroup Office for an Alkathon near you!!
Once upon a time, a long time ago, during the late ‘60ties, two
sober AAs, Toby Craig and Jack W. who made their living feeding
Parliamentarians and the like people on The Hill Restaurants and
Cafeterias, banded together with some other sober AA guys to do a
very Christian thing for less fortunate people than themselves, the
Skid-row and homeless alcoholics, invited them to a Christmas
Dinner Christmas Eve at St. Giles Church, corner of Bank St. &
First Ave. It was an unparalleled gesture to serve a first-class dinner
to the Street-people of Ottawa infected with Alcoholism. It was a
2hr. affair followed by an A.A. meeting. Some of these hardened
Street-people didn’t show, they did not want to pay the price of
attending an A.A. meeting. It was nonetheless successful and
repeated the following year with an increased attendance. This
Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve has grown and grown and
grown to what has become known as the Alkathon.
It wants to be remembered why we have an Alkathon, that
essentially the Alkathon is intended for the less fortunate in our
great fellowship,that includes the individuals on the skids and the
homeless. It gives us super fortunate sober A.A.s the opportunity to
continue what Toby and Jack started, an opportunity to honour
these two guys who put into action what Tradition 5 teaches “–
when anyone anywhere reaches out, let A.A. always be there”.
We often hear the proverb “You can’t lead a horse to water”. True,
but, you can keep it there long enough ‘till it gets thirsty. In other
words, the double AA also stands for “Assertive Attraction” and
that is in the spirit of what Toby and Jack had thought of doing and
put into action. It is our responsibility to continue in this spirit.
Outside Enterprises engage in Outreach programs. Let the Alkathon
be an “Outreach”. Invite the less fortunate from around town, like
Toby and Jack did, not caring whether they had a bath or clean
cloth for a while. Let’s practice the greater good, and not just think
of the Alkathon as a closed party for sober alcoholics.
Toby & Jack would remind us very quickly of our primary purpose