History of Dakota Alano – Part One
From Al M. one of the original founders
The history of AA in the Burnsville Eagan area started at the Warrior Building in Burnsville. That group moved to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church approximately 1973. At that time the church was located on Nicollet and East Burnsville Parkway. The Church outgrew the building and the new church on Fairview Drive became a non-smoking facility so the group in 1976/77 split into two groups, one meeting at the Burnsville Clinic and they eventually became the Ridge Runners Group meeting at the Church of the Risen Savior.
The other group which was to become the nucleus of Dakota Alano met at a church located near Highway 13 and County Road 11 and that group had AA and Al-Anon meeting at 8:00 PM on Friday. The church had fewer walls than were needed to separate into private rooms and children meeting for church activities often wandered into meetings which was a problem especially for newcomers. After one such meeting it was suggested that we meet to make other plans. Approximately 17 AA’s and Al-Anon members agreed to meet at the home of Don P. and his wife. One of us had experience with either the Fridley or Coon Rapids Alano house and we became excited to follow their example. Al-Anon members at that first meeting were Arlene O, Audrey W, Mary S, Alice M and Don’s wife. AA’s included Don P, Bev P, Fran S, Larry S, Jerry O, Whitey W, Larry D, Ted H, Gayle O, Betty N, Ray M and Al M. Larry D was a realtor and was assigned the task of finding a house. Very soon (1978) he did just that and Whitey, Arlene and Larry met with the church and the rest is history. The first meetings were Friday 8:00 PM AA and Friday 8:00 PM Al-Anon. The Board of Directors was formed and by laws written. One group was the Young Peoples group. We had two great young leaders of the group but there were problems in spite of that. One group was non-smoking and that became quite popular. The Saturday morning Slippers Group was formed very early and grew and “Slippers Group” name was changed. At one time we had a Saturday PM Speaker Meeting. Soon we had meetings every day.
Whitey W and Danny S were great carpenters and fixer uppers, Jim G was a business head who knew how to incorporate as a non-profit and my specialty was raising money and getting volunteers to paint the house. None of this would have meant anything without a location and Larry is responsible for that as mentioned above.
One personal note:
I moved to Ely Minnesota in 1993. One year ago we drove down Rahn Road to that familiar location and saw that the house was still alive. My wife Alice and I shed a grateful tear for all of you wonderful people that keep AA alive and well at Dakota Alano.