London Bulletin Board
Intergroup & General Service
Hugh H.
London Ontario
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DCM - District Committee Member's Report - May 11, 2015

** Be Involved ** Be Inspired ** Be Of Service **

My name is Alice and I have the humble opport-unity to serve as your District Committee Member for 2014-15 and I am an alcoholic. I’m also a member of the Wednesday night Byron 12 & 12. 

Tonight was the first night for the ad-hoc committee to meet to review our SOP’s (Service Operating Procedures). I’m sure it went well.

I managed to get out to a few groups this month to carry the District message.  I was warmly received at all groups, thank you. If you would like me to come to your group, please let me know and I’ll do my best to attend in the next month or I will send a seasoned professional. Joanne and Dean will also start visiting groups and giving the District message at the announcement period. 

A few members expressed concerns about the talk of drugs at meetings. Hopefully your group reads the “Blue Card” which states our singleness of purpose. The sole purpose of any AA group is to carry the message to the ALCOHOLIC who still suffers. AA is Alcoholics Anonymous not Anything Annonymous.
- for a Printable Blue Card - Click Here (Legal to Print via Fair Use Policy)

On Saturday I attended Area 86’s Committee Meeting in St. Thomas. Joanne and Dean also attended and I’m sure they got a lot out of it as I did.

Here are Some of the Highlights:

Secretary’s Report – now have 840 groups in our Area, with 2 pending, up from 838 groups. 31 groups are unknown, down from 39.

Treasurer’s Report – Area 86 is in its prudent reserve – we are $2,231.88 under. Paul is hopeful that groups will contribute and the negative balance will correct itself. With 840 groups and a budget of $105,000 – each group’s share is $125.00

I voiced a concern over the Assembly expense, it was higher than what was budgeted. Paul will investigate and report back.

The Area has not sent NY the voluntary delegate contribution as we are in our prudent reserve and can not afford to do so. Cost per Delegate is $7,500.00 U.S., Area has sent the mandatory $1,600.00 U.S. – Area has yet to send the balance of $5,900 U.S. to pay our share.

We also picked up some Treasurer’s packets, please feel free to take out and bring it to your group’s treasurer. 

Delegate Report – Jim is back from the General Service Conference that was held in Manhattan, New York. He shared the following statistics:

* 1.3 million members in Canada and U.S.

* It cost $3,575,000.00 to look after / support the groups

* This breaks down to: $7.08 per member and the average contribution was $5.02; $149.11 cost per group and the average contribution per group was $105.00. 41.6% of groups sent in contributions.
(27,000 out of 65,000 groups)

* A $1.00 in 1945 would be $13.00 today
* A 1945 dollar is worth 8 cents today

Last month I talked about our 7th tradition, here is part 2 ….  Just so it is perfectly clear, I am not telling any group what to do with their 7th tradition, I’m just trying to educate members so that informed decisions are made at business meetings.

Tradition 4 states that: Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.

It is a known fact that all levels of service are not being fully supported by its members. GSO, Areas, Districts and Intergroups are continually having to do more with less or they can’t do. Birthday celebrations are a BIG expense and do they really need to be? Yes, birthdays important to show others that the AA program works, but at what expense?

Can that $50 - $75 be better served sending it to GSO or Area, etc? Just because it is our local tradition doesn’t mean that it still serves us today and is this practice affecting AA as a whole? I think so.

At our Spring Assembly I had the privilege of having dinner with the Area Executive and Richard B (Canadian Eastern Regional Trustee) and Luc (Delegate Area 90). Both these gentlemen are from Quebec. We were talking about birthday celebrations and it us unheard of to use the 7th in their Area to pay for birthdays. The cake and medallion are bought by the celebrant or the sponsor.

Just because it is our tradition to do otherwise, does not mean it is right or that is serves us well. To make sure I wasn’t in left field, I emailed GSO in New York and spoke to Tracy O., our Canadian Eastern Rep.(she called me back) I told her about our birthday practices here and my concerns. She assured me that it is a common concern and that I am not alone. She shared some AA experience on the subject:

* Some groups hold raffles outside of the 7th tradition to pay for cakes and medallions or they send the basket around again specifically for birthday contributions

* Some groups bake their own cakes and goodies

* Some sponsors pay for the medallion

* Some celebrants pay for their own cake and medallion as a way of saying thank you to AA

* And others do use the 7th to pay for birthdays as they see it as attracting more members and showing that the AA program works.

Here’s an excerpt from AA Guidelines on Finance:

Question: After covering our group’s expenses, we have very little money left. Isn’t it embarrassing to send what seem to be just nickels and dimes?

Answer: The General Service Conference has emphasized that it is not concerned about the amount each group contributes, but that each group contribute something. At a service assembly, one G.S.R. said, “It is a spiritual obligation to participate by contributing.”

It is my hope that this information sparks discussion and that we seen an increase in the dollars that are sent on to our vital service entities.

As always, thank you all for your support as I continue to learn and grow while serving you and

serving with you. If there is anything that I can do to better serve you or your groups, please let me know.

** Be Involved ** Be Inspired ** Be Of Service **

Yours in love and service,

Alice - Your District Committee Member (DCM)
District 11 London Middlesex
519+521+0254 or e-mail me

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