History of Dakota Alano – Part Two
From Al M. one of the original founders
I have a list of 40 AA's with the name Ridge Runners 1, Church of the Risen Savior, 1501 East County Road 42, Burnsville, which was typed in 1990. This group met on Thursday. I see Ray M. a few times every year and he was with the Ridge Runners until he moved to Cromwell. I will call him to get the name of the Group when we all met at Prince of Peace. After Prince of Peace, Ray and others went one way and the Group which later formed Dakota Alano went another. All of the group that started the Alano were part of the Friday Night group and the first group at the house was Friday. All groups had AA and Al-Anon.
I now believe that the first organizational meeting prior to forming the Alano was at the home of Don P. and his wife. Some other people part of the early Alano days were, Bev P., Fran S., Larry S. and Mary S. his wife. Nancy M, Gayle O and Dorothy M were part of the old group at Prince of Peace.
At one time we had a Saturday PM Speaker Meeting. 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.
Whitey W. and wife Audrey, Jerry O. (now deceased) and then wife Arlene, Alice M. and me Alan M. had all started at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. We had AA upstairs and Al-Anon downstairs. Others there were Mary K., Judy I., Bette N., Harold M., Bob L., Brent S., Frank W., Ted H. and many more. Audrey, Arlene, and Alice were Al-Anon. Ray M. now living in Cromwell
came there first on 1/8/72, Lindy L. (deceased) had a dry date of 4/4/70 and his wife Lou was a very long time Al-Anon. I came to that group with a then dry date of 02/07/1975. My new dry date is 03/16/1990.
One day in approximately 1977, the church said that they were going non-smoking and we left so we could continue to fill our lungs with tar. That church was near Highway 13, between Prince of Peace and the Alano House. Ray, Lindy, Dick F. went to the Burnsville Clinic lunchroom and later started the Ridges Group on County Road 42. Those that went to the other church were soon dissatisfied because it was a very open church and many children's groups would meet for one activity or another and Whitey, Arlene, Alice, and a newcomer Larry D., Danny S. and Jim G. met with still others and we appointed Larry D. (realtor) to find a place where we could have privacy and we had someone from Fridley or Coon Rapids Alano explain the things we should consider. We were mostly concerned with the newcomer who would fear public exposure as one of us in that public church. We left on fire for the idea of an Alano House. Within a few weeks Larry D. found your present location.
Whitey and Danny were great carpenters and fixer uppers, Jim 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.
The house has a great story and the church landlord was easy to deal with. I supply you the above background so that you know that the initial reason for the house was smoking and privacy. I do want to get a few more names of the founders of the group from Alice. We met at someone’s house for our first organizational meeting.
In every group I ever attended I would type the phone lists for the groups. I am looking at one of the first lists for the Saturday 11 A.M. Slippers Group that had only 13 names in April 1980. It grew fast after that date and the name changed and we added the 9:00 AM time because 6 rooms were not enough for Saturday AA crowd. Wonderful memories; and I will try to put it all in an organized fashion. I am 72 and finally retired (Jan 2011) so I have time to get these histories to you.
I attended every Board Meeting for the first three years or so and have many stories of issues that came up and how our Higher Power got us through it all.
Thank you again for keeping this alive and well.