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Chilliwack Alano Club Turns 38 – Despite COVID, Financial Challenges

Chilliwack – On August 19, the Chilliwack Alano Club will celebrate its 38th anniversary at its current location.

According to the Chilliwack Museum, the earlier recorded story on the Alano Society is 1950, although elders say the Society started in the late 1940’s in a church basement. That would start at the old Women’s Institute Hall – which was located at Wellington and Stanley. They held bingos that would eventually raise money for a club. Those bingos moved to the armory on Princess. Much of the Alano history has been lost due to “misfortune” (which is a story unto itself).

Around 1980, a lovely lady named Ruth Orwold was instrumental in organizing bingo money and with some cash being set aside for the eventual purchase of a building which is 46035 Victoria Street at Nowell.  

Since 1982, the Club has been at that location.

In 2019, the Alano and similar clean and sober meeting places, were under the gun from the BC Gaming Commission. Reviews were done over paper work and misunderstanding. Remember the Alano is run by volunteers. Few have legal experience.

Fortunately, after the Alano board of directors did something very uncomfortable, which was a very public information campaign (they use a 12 Step motto – attraction rather than promotion) and they received some assistance from Chilliwack Rotary and this year due to COVID-19, Chilliwack Lions.

The AGM for the Alano is Saturday at 1:30PM at the Club with social distancing rules in place. The Alano is not out of the financial woods by any means.

There are a few misconceptions about the Alano Club. 

First it is not an extension of any 12 step organization. 

It is NOT a detox nor is the Alano Club a recovery centre, a homeless shelter or an extension of Chilliwack Community Services. Therefore it does NOT receive funding that other services would receive ie RAN, Salvation Army and Cyrus Centre.

You can join as a member and/or a patron and supporter of the club.Due to COVID-19, events like the Easter Egg Hunt were cancelled. It’s unlikely that the annual Thanksgiving and Christmas open dinners will be held.

The Chilliwack Alano Club does have a Facebook page which can be found here.

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