Stick with the Winners: Who Were They?
Cleveland A.A. Groups Were Winners
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In Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, Bill Wilson told the details of the Cleveland A.A. groups as winners:
“Homes were open for meetings. The first Cleveland meeting started in June, 1939, at the home of Abby G. and his wife Grace. It was composed of Abby and about a dozen others who had been making the journey to Akron to meet at the Williams home. But Abby’s group presently ran out of space.
We old-timers in New York and Akron had regarded this fantastic phenomenon with misgivings. Had it not taken us four whole years, littered with countless failures, to produce even a hundred good recoveries?
Yet there in Cleveland we saw about twenty members, not very experienced themselves, suddenly confronted by hundreds of newcomers as a result of the Plain Dealer articles. How could they possibly manage? We did not know.
But a year later we did know; for by then Cleveland had about thirty groups and several hundred members. . . . . Yes, Cleveland’s results were of the best. Their results were in fact so good, and A.A.’s membership elsewhere so small, that many a Clevelander really thought A.A. had started there in the first place.
The Cleveland pioneers had proved three essential things: the value of personal sponsorship; the worth of the A.A. book in indoctrinating newcomers, and finally the tremendous fact that A.A., when the word got around, could now soundly grow to great size.
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age: a brief history of A.A., pages 21-22.