What to take back Elections Assembly Panel 65 2016

What to Take Back 2016 Election Assembly November 12-13, 2016

1. Following the Third Legacy Procedure, we elected the Panel 67 officers for Area 17:

  • Delegate – Bob H
  • Alternate Delegate – Coleen A.
  • Chair – Kunane D.
  • Alternate Chair – Tommy G.
  • Treasurer – Mike K.
  • Secretary – Deborah S.
  • Registrar- Rachel S.2. We elected Scott C. as the Area17 nominee for Trustee At Large.

    3. Committee Chair – Panel 67 Area 17 Officers in the process of the selection process. If you would like to be considered, send an email to [email protected] by November 26th. Include full name, address, address, email address, service experience, and committee you would like to chair.

    4. GSR Change Form: Hopefully, At the Election Assembly, you filled this form out and gave it to the area registrar. But if you didn’t, new GSRs who are elected to serve on Panel 67, please complete the GSR Change form and submit it to the Area 17 Registrar. WRITE CLEARLY, scan, and email to [email protected]

    6. Reports for this assembly are online at area17aa.org

    7. Share the literature GSO brought and shared with us at the Pacific Regional Forum. Also share the reports and your own experience.

    8. The 2017 Pacific Region Alcoholics Anonymous Service Assembly will be held in Sacramento, CA the weekend of March 3-5. Hotels close to the convention center are filling up, so if you are planning on going, you might want book your flight and make your hotel reservation sooner rather than later. If you use the Hawaiian Airline, you can save 5% by booking your flight through the Preferred Affiliate program. Go to area17aa.org for more information.

    9. The Orientation Assembly for Panel 67 will be January 14-15, 2017 in Kihei, Maui. This is a two day assembly that will cover a wide range of information helpful for GSRs, DCMs, Committee Chairs, Intergroup Chairs and officers serving on this panel, and/or new to area general service. Please register early and let the host district know if you need transportation and/or homestay.

    10. Share your own experience from this assembly, and from serving on this panel. What you saw, heard and felt is important so please share what was important to you.

    11. Also consider making yourself available to share your experience and help the next group of trusted servants. We have all gained experiences, learned a lot and are uniquely qualified to help others in service. Remember how you felt when you were new to your service position, and share what helped you.

    12. Remember to share the Panel 65 Summary with your group, and thank them for supporting and sharing in the responsibility of creating unity with each other, and with AA as a whole.

    Thank you for your service, and thank you for a remarkable two years,

    Coleen A., Area 17 Chair


The Chair’s PRAASA 2016 Report Back

PRAASA Report Back
March 4-6, 2016
Coleen A., Chair for Area 17, Panel 65

Aloha. Thank you for allowing me to attend the Pacific Region Alcoholics Anonymous Service Assembly (PRAASA) for Area 17. Rod, our Immediate Past Pacific Region Trustee compared what happens after PRAASA to rippling circles that travel outward after a rock is thrown into a lake. We all come together and share on various topics. We go home, pass on our PRAASA experiences, and work to create more and better ways to reach the still suffering alcoholic.

The purpose of PRAASA is to develop greater unity among the members, groups and areas of the Pacific Region, to encourage the exchange of ideas and experiences and to provide an opportunity for members to discuss pertinent aspects of AA. The hope always is to foster the Recovery, Unity and Service legacies of AA.

The theme this year was “Our Spiritual Way of Life: Steps, Tradition and Concepts.” It is impossible to write every thought from all three days, so I’ll share what spoke to my heart – hopefully in an even-keeled way. The panels were recorded and many districts and people in Hawaii Area 17 purchased those recordings. If you want to hear more on a specific panel or all of PRAASA, my guess is someone will be glad to lend you the recordings. You’ll probably hear ideas that I did not catch, but are important to you.

What I saw, heard and felt…

There are a lot of sober caring alcoholics in the Pacific Region. Every year, attendees want there to be to a representative sample of the many kinds of people, groups and districts we serve. One change I noticed, in the six PRAASAs I’ve attended – there was a strong Hispanic presence and the voice for Hispanic men was heard. This PRAASA was the first time in my memory that an Hispanic woman came up to the mic, not as an interpreter/translator but as an A.A. member with something to share. She also shared there was going to be a steps and traditions workshop for Hispanic women in her area.

Although we are improving in diversity in our representation, there still is room for improvement. Between panels someone said to me, “You are from Hawaii right? I hope I don’t sound prejudice or rude, but how come there are no Hawaiian looking people from your area here?” I replied that our area has more diversity than she is seeing, and this is the way representation at PRAASA unfolded for us this year. I also let her know, if she comes to the Pacific Forum, or to our Annual Hawaii Convention, she will meet lots more Hawaiian looking people. Although we are all alcoholics first, maybe next year you can help improve diversity at PRAASA.

The Friday evening panels were about connecting with the newcomer, with each other and with A. A. as a whole.

Would a plain language translation of the Big Book be easier for newcomers to understand? This would not be a new version or replacement Big Book. Whenever the Big Book is translated, the intent is to translate the words and also the spirit of our original book.

Do we look for newcomers just in our home groups, or do we make an effort to find them other places such as hospitals, correctional facilities or treatment centers? Are we welcoming to all who come through our doors? Do our home groups need to do inventories on how we reach out to newcomers? Although the willingness to get sober has to come from them, the opportunities to create a life better than the way they are living comes from us. One person said, “I respond more to the carrot than the stick.” We can all pass on our program of recovery, and create a “culture of service” in our home groups so all feel welcome.

We also heard from the next generation of A.A.’s. The next generation wants to know they are welcome in A.A. They want a sense of fun… because many “would rather die than be boring.” Young people feel talked down to when they hear comments like, “I spilled more than… You’re so lucky … You’ve been spared years of…” They come to A.A. miserable and desperate, and have had enough to drink. The next generation wants a fair chance, and to be respected and treated as equals.

What else? Many rely on phones or devices to communicate and seek information. We need to continue to improve the anonymity component while maintaining and improving A.A.s presence on the internet. Many young people want to primarily communicate with their devices. I talked with a long timer about sponsoring the text savvy. She said, “I needs to hear a voice. Texts can be unintentionally deceiving. Texts won’t tell me if your voice is quivering or you are about to lose it.” We don’t want to short change the next generation. It may take time and practice trusting the process, before they become willing to receive help in all the ways we effectively and lovingly pass A.A. on. One long timer put it this way, “ My style of sponsoring doesn’t seem to be trending right now.” Nevertheless, we all receive and pass A.A. on in the various ways that worked best for us.

Saturday morning panels focused on Anonymity, Safety in A.A. and Going to Any Length. Anonymity with each other is always a personal decision. But I repeatedly heard “at the mic”, if we go in the hospital, there are a lot of folks that want to be able to visit, so consider sharing your last name with the people you are close to! Traditions XI and XII point to the spiritual significance of 100% anonymity at the public level, but many are looking for wiggle room and have varying interpretations of what anonymity at the public level looks like, especially when using social media. Asking the question, “Is your home group picture online?” Andrea from Kihei Morning Serenity researched this topic and gave a thoughtful presentation. We are not anonymous at the public level if we post full face photos and full names or if we identify ourselves as A.A. members. The use of a ‘privacy setting’ isn’t as helpful as we may think if we truly want to practice the principle of anonymity online. The internet is a great outreach tool. But, it is the actions of individual that may cause harm to themselves, to others, and to A.A. For an excellent example of how we can provide the most information about A.A. while maintaining 100% anonymity online, please visit www.aa.org.

While practicing anonymity to gain humility and protect A.A. from our egos, what are we doing to protect newcomers? What can we do when we experience or witness an uncomfortable or illegal situation? Our General Service Office is not there to set policy or provide protection. It is up to groups and individual members to address these problems should they arise. Many who come to A.A. for help are being harmed or damaged, so it is not OK to look the other way or act as if predatory behavior doesn’t have a negative impact on members… and A.A. as a whole for that matter.

With so many coming to A.A. with problems other than alcohol, their need for A.A. is not always easy to discern. Because it can take some a while to figure out whether they need A.A., we need to give time time, practice patience and keep an open mind.

Joel, our current Pacific Region Trustee gave his report. He reiterated that the intention of any A.A. service is to make sure that “The hand of A.A. is there.” Joel showed us a series of maps that illustrated AA’s expanding presence in the world through the years. These maps showed us the countries where people who are literate can read our message in their language, and this brought tears to my eyes. Through translations, we have carried the message and provide access to our message to more and more alcoholics throughout the world. Although we haven’t completed this task of carrying the message all over the world, I saw clearly that we are close. The next generation of sober A.A.s may be the group of drunks that accomplishes this. It takes our contributions to make this happen. As long as individuals and groups continue to support this work, GSO will not need to cut back services and efforts to do so.

Joel also talked about paying attention to the spiritual component of giving to A.A. Yes, it takes our contributions to make it happen. Is my contribution an expression of gratitude and service or am I doing it out of habit? The money allows us to do the work. If I am mindful, and take the time to know what the work is and is not, it becomes a spiritual opportunity that I benefit from. He asked us to become aware of the services we provide and the hand of A.A. extended because of those services. This information is provided in meetings like this, the Delegate Report back, GSO’s quarterly newsletter Box 459, The Final Conference Report and the other correspondence from GSO. Yes it is important to financially support all levels of service. It is also important to know how our contributions are used to reach the still suffering alcoholic.

Last year, do you remember Hawaii Area 17 agreed with the request for a pamphlet for the LGBT community, and the request for a pamphlet regarding those with mental health concerns? An all call went out to all A.A.s in North America. A.A. members sent in more than 50 submissions for the LGBT pamphlet and more than150 submissions for the pamphlet for those with mental health concerns.

The three Sunday morning panels were: “What’s on Your Mind?” Which allowed any participant to share their thoughts with us, Past Trustees sharing their thought on “If A.A. could only…” and The Current Delegate’s Panel answering “ask it basket” questions. The Delegate panel is lovingly referred to as “Stump the Delegate.”

During most of the Past Trustees Panel, I either cried or felt like crying. The best suggestion I can give you is to borrow the CD and listen to this panel in its entirety. There is too much wisdom, experience, strength and A.A. history to sum it up in one paragraph. There are no few thoughts that stood out. Past Trustees are all quite human, and in very different ways, each one loves A.A. and continues to gives her/his best. They expressed gratitude for A.A. and faith in the group conscience.

Thanks for listening/reading. And thank you for allowing me to be of service.

What to Take Back from the October 2015 Budget Assembly

What to Take Back
Budget Assembly
Central North Shore District #9
October 2-3, 2015

1. The 2016 Budget Proposal was passed.

2. The Proposal requesting the General Service Conference consider adding a paragraph about general service meetings to Living Sober was passed. Concept III: the right of decision, Concept IV: the right of participation, and Concept V: the right of appeal were used to come to an informed group conscience.

3. Honolulu District #2 and West Hawaii District #8 have agreed to switch the assemblies they are hosting due to difficulty/cost of traveling to the Big Island the same weekend as The Merrie Monarch Festival.
~ The Inform the Delegate Assembly will be hosted by Honolulu District #2 (Oahu) the weekend of April 2-3, 2016.
~ The Election Assembly will be hosted by West Hawaii District #8 (Big Island). Date to be announced.

4. The Final Conference Report for the 2015 General Service Conference (GSC) was distributed. Remember: this is a confidential A.A. document for A.A. members only, when sharing with your group members please respect the confidential nature of the information in this report.

5. The summary of the GSC three year long inventory can be found on the Delegate’s Blog at area17aa.org. Paper copies will be distributed at the Inventory Assembly.
6. Intergroup:
~ Oahu Intergroup is looking for a new central office manager. You can go to the Intergroup website oahuintergroup.com for more information or to submit a resume.

~ West Hawaii is also looking for a new office manager as well.

7. Hawaii Annual Convention is accepting resumes for Treasurer. Resumes are due by November 27th and can be sent to [email protected]
8. The Grapevine magazine subscription challenge is almost over, (the winning area gets a magazine subscription dedicated to their area). Gift subscriptions help spread the word through our magazine. More information can be found at aagrapevine.org
9. The 2015 General Service Conference passed advisory actions to:
~ Revise ‘AA and the Gay/Lesbian Alcoholic.’ To include a wider range of AA recovery, and to include members who are bisexual, transgender and gender non-conforming.
~ Revise and update ‘AA for the Woman.’ To include women in the military, single women and women from diverse backgrounds.
GSO is now requesting stories to be included in the updated/revised pamphlets. More information is available by emailing [email protected]

10. Male Correspondents are needed for Corrections Correspondence Service. This is a Twelfth Step opportunity which links A.A. members on the “outside” with A.A. members in correctional facilities; to provide a source of experience as it relates to problems with alcohol. Men are linked with men and women with women. Most of the inmates who would like an outside correspondent are men. At this time, GSO has enough women volunteers. More info at www.aa.org or http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/nopage/f-26-corrections-correspondence-a-special- kind-of-aa-service
11. Share the spiritual: What you saw, heard and felt at this assembly is important. Please pass it on.
12. Share the business: What discussions/presentations were important to you? Please share this as well.
Upcoming Events:
~ The Annual Hawaii Convention is October 29- November 1, 2015 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, on Oahu. The cut off date for meal orders is October 7th.

~ Area 17 Inventory Assembly will be held January 30-31, 2016 on Kauai. Register early so Kauai District #5 can plan accordingly.

~ Pacific Region Alcoholics Anonymous Service Assembly (PRAASA) 2016 will be held in Spokane, WA, March 4 – 6, 2016 at the Spokane Convention Center. The website is up and running at www.PRAASA.org. Link to lodging at Double Tree Hilton is http://doubletree.hilton.com/en/dt/groups/personalized/S/SPCC-DT-PRA- 20160303/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG. Registration is $25 and can be done online, or you can use snail mail.
Thank you for this opportunity to serve,
Coleen, Area 17 Chair, Panel 65

What to take back from the 2015 Inform the Delegate Assembly

What To Take Back
Inform the Delegate Assembly
April 11-12,2015

Thank you all for your service. Reports, minutes, etc. can be found at area17aa.org

We informed our delegate on the 12 agenda items she chose for us to research, discuss, and present. Please share what was important to you about these topics. And please let others know what you saw, heard and felt.
Regarding the Panel 63 request: ”The General Service Office management, whenever possible, select a site outside New York City in which to hold the General Service Conference,” Our delegate reported that A.A. World Service discussed our request and decided to take no action.
Kauai District #6 distributed a Proposal to add a paragraph extolling the positive experience of participation in general service meetings in subsequent printings of Living Sober. Please share this proposal with your home groups, and bring your group conscience to the Budget Assembly, (through your DCM or GSR).
The International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous will be held the first weekend in July 2015, in Atlanta GA. The Pacific Region is hosting a hospitality room – anyone interested in serving on the hospitality committee, email Mary at [email protected]
The General Service Office recruitment for additional GSO staff members continues. The application deadline is May 1, 2015. The GSO website is aa.org
Delegate Report Backs will begin when our Delegate gets back from the General Service Conference. Please attend your District’s Delegate Report Back, and encourage group members to attend as well.
The Annual Hawaii Convention is receiving resumes for the next Convention Chair. Anyone interested can contact Debbie at [email protected]
The Website committee is in need of an alternate website chair. Anyone interested can contact Sue at [email protected]
We were given an “Archives Chair Challenge.” Contact Lauren at [email protected] for a suggested format to share the history of your group.
We have an interim committee to prepare for the upcoming Regional Forum. It will be held in October 2016, at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island. Our Alternate Delegate is serving as the ad hoc chair. Anyone interested in helping contact Bob at [email protected]
Our Next Assembly is The Budget Assembly. It will be October 3-4, 2015. It is hosted by District #9 Central North Shore. GSRs, DCMs, Standing Committee Chairs, Intergroup Chairs, Officers are voting members. A.A. members may attend.
Our Annual Hawaii Convention will be held October 29- November 1, 2015 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, Waikiki, Oahu

Thank you for allowing me to be of service,
Coleen, Area 17 Chair, Panel 65 [email protected]

What to Take Back from the Feb 28, 2015 Committee Meeting

What To Take Back from the Area 17 Committee Meeting
February 28, 2015

+The Inform the Delegate (ITD) topics and assignments were given by our delegate.
+Thumb drives with the confidential background information were provided. The information is confidential. Please return the thumb drives at the ITD assembly.
+Standing Committee Chairs will contact their group members and distribute background information to them.
+DCM’s were given a list of their GSRs and their corresponding topics. Please assist in getting background information to your GSRs.
+DCMS were also given their own topics and assignments for the ITD Assembly.
+DCMs, SC Chairs and Officers met in groups and reported back on their discussions.
+DCMs, Standing Committee chairs, Intergroup chairs, and Officers gave individual reports. +Please see the meeting minutes for details.

Assembly and Committee Meetings for 2016:

2016 Assembly/Committee Meeting District #
January Inventory Assembly #6 Kauai
February Committee Meeting #13 Tri Island, Maui
March/April Inform the Delegate Assembly #8 West Hawaii, Big Island
May/June Committee Meeting #17Waianae, Oahu
August Budget #11 Kihei, Maui
October Optional Committee Meeting #3 Leeward, Oahu
November Election Assembly #2 Honolulu, Oahu

A draft proposal for a revision to Living Sober was presented by Kauai District -for input on the wording. This proposal may be ready to present at the Inform the Delegate assembly so that districts have time to take back to their group members.

Our Website Chair gave a tutorial on how to use our area website in our service. Please use your area email addresses for area business. Please check your section of our website. If updates and corrections need to be made, contact our web chair.

We discussed confidentiality and access to area business documents on our Area 17 website. GSO Guidelines for the Internet were provided.

The Inform the Delegate Assembly will be April 11-12, 2015. It is hosted by No Ka `Oi District on Maui. Please mail your registration in early, and request home stay and transportation so they can plan accordingly. Please book flights early. Neighbor islands, contact our area treasurer at [email protected] to see if using our Hawaiian Airline miles is a better use of our contributions.

Celebrate A.A.s 80th birthday at the International A.A. Convention. It will be held in Atlanta the first weekend in July, 2015. Visit aa.org for details regarding registration and hotels.

Was something left out that you think needed to be included? Let me know via [email protected]

What to take Back from the Orientation Assembly

The goal of the Orientation Assembly was to provide GSRs, DCMs, committee chairs, intergroup chairs, and officers with information to help us understand our service commitments. Using service material and individual experiences, we were given an overview of how the up side down triangle service structure is designed to serve A.A.

Joel C. The Pacific Region Trustee reviewed the structure and composition of the General Service Board. General Service helps us carry the message to the still suffering alcoholic:
The International Convention will be held in Atlanta GA, July 2-5, 2015.
The aa.org website has been redesigned. It is now easier to search for/find meetings.
The Trustee System is used to get work done here in United States and Canada, and to assist A.A. overseas.

There were two panel presentations. The first gave background information on the History of the General Service Conference, and the General Service Board. The second panel talked about our Twelve Concepts for World Service.

General Service Representatives, District Committee Members, Standing Committee Chairs, Intergroup Chairs, and Officers met in small groups to discuss our responsibilities and ask questions.

GSRs were given their standing committee assignments, and were asked to act as liaisons between those in service on their island/district and the area standing committee chairs.
Standing Committee Chairs were confirmed, and met with their assigned GSR liaisons.

Reports were given by Officers, DCMs, Intergroup Representatives, and Standing Committees round tables. For details regarding Intergroup activities on the different islands, go to area17aa.org to find links to intergroup websites, and to the meeting minutes for this assembly.

Our Website Chair gave a presentation on area17aa.org website.

“Ask it Basket” questions were answered, and allowed us to practice what happens at the Pacific Region Alcoholics Anonymous Service Assembly (PRAASA): a member is chosen to share on a topic, and the assembly is given time to go to the microphone to share their experience.

PRAASA will be held the March 6-8, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Details are found at 2015.praasa.org

Regarding our own service work, we were encouraged to ask for help when we need it, and to be available to help others, if asked. And, while we strive to work together for A.A. and the still suffering alcoholic, it doesn’t mean we have to all be the same, think the same or do the same things. We were reminded that harmony happens not when we all sing the same note, but when everybody is singing a different note.

Lastly, it is my experience that assemblies have a spiritual component to them as well as a business component. We each leave the assembly with our own ideas of what was important. The service manual describes this as “what you saw, heard and felt.” Unless you tell us, we won’t know what your higher power/good orderly direction seemed to point out to you. I hope you look for opportunities to pass that on as well.

Thank you for allowing me to be of service,
Coleen A.
Area 17 Chair, Panel 65

Happy New Year, Happy New Panel

Aloha Everyone!

I wanted to take a moment to wish you all a wonderful and joyous New Year and thank you for your service and dedication during this past Area Panel 63. Your commitment to service, hard work, patience, and love showed throughout our two year journey and for that I am grateful.

This will be my last post as Area Chair and I want to tell you that is has been an honor and pleasure to serve. I still have a hard time believing that I went from being a hopeless drunk to the person I am today. I owe you that, all of you. Thank you for my sobriety and my life.

As I look forward to Panel 65 where I am truly honored to be allowed to serve as your Alternate Delegate, I’d like to close this holiday message with the words of our Co-Founders, Dr. Bob and Bill W., from their January 1948 Grapevine message, just be sure to apply it to 2015 and Panel 65!

Great Expectations:
A New Year’s Greeting

A new chapter begins. Maybe we shall borrow its title from Dickens. Why not call 1948 “the year of great expectations”?

We may rightly expect that thousands of our kind will be released of their soul sickness; at the year’s end most of us will acclaim 1948 the happiest yet. Should misadventure befall any of us we shall remember that joy is to be found in the midst of any difficulty, if we can abandon ourselves to God’s will.

What great gifts these! Who indeed could expect more?

So, at the beginning of this fresh chapter–the good year of 1948–may we all look thankfully at each other exclaiming, Great Expectations and Happy New Year!
Dr. Bob and Bill W.

Yours in love and service,
Bob H.
Hawaii Area 17
Panel 63 Chair

WACYPAA 18 – Area Chair’s Report #4

Aloha all! I seem to be day behind on all of this but here’s my report for Saturday.

The day started early as I’d volunteered us to host the hospitality room starting at 8:00 AM and going through noon. I showed up a bit early and started getting set up when Cheryl N. gave me a call and said she’d be right there.

I was making coffee as fast as I could but right at 8 AM we had a small crowd of folks itching for a cup of joe. This was partially my fault of course, I spent a lot of time on Thursday and Friday reminding folks we’d be hosting the room on Saturday. Everyone was patient and soon we had a plenty of hot coffee and platters of treats.

I also want to thank Mike, the incoming District #5 DCM for his participation. Stayed all morning and was a huge help, both in keeping things stocked up and in breaking down after our shift.

It was a blast. Lot’s of folks dropped through and it wonderful to chat and share with so many folks who were having a blast sober and in Hawaii. Besides all the conversation I’d hooked up my computer to the room TV and we were able to play videos from the main Alcoholics Anonymous website.

When our relief showed up Mike and I took all the display materials up to ballroom entrance where Pattilyne B., our Grapevine Standing Committee Chair, was serving at a table of Grapevine materials. She did a great job representing the Grapevine, and the West Hawaii Intergroup where she’s begun working, all weekend.

Since I’d been up so late the night before I needed a nap and a shower before I would be good for anything else and that’s exactly what I did.

When I woke it was mid-afternoon and I headed out to attend a meeting being held by our sister organization, the Al-Anon Family Groups. I have a number of friends in that fellowship through my work at the Annual Hawaii Convention and relationship we’ve developed during the past panel at our Area Assemblies. l was able to renew some old acquaintances and forge some new ones.

I ran into Sue, our Area Webmaster, and had a great conversation over a bite to eat while watching the sun set off to the west. There’s a great view from the side of the hotel fronting the beach.

And then it was time for the big meeting of the evening. Just as I had the night before a welcome was given by a serving Area Officers. Our delegate, Ken, had been slated to speak but was unable to attend and gave the honor to Cheryl N., our incoming delegate. Her words of greeting were heartfelt and like myself the night before, it’s impossible to be on stage and not shout out “WACY, WACY, WACY” to get back the PAA, PAA, PAA response. She didn’t resist.

The main speaker was Tony K., another speaker with some local ties and harrowing story with a joyous escape from active alcoholism. Once again I was stuck by just how lucky we are to live in a time when an escape from our spiritual malady is not just available, but readily and gladly given by such wonderful servants.

Once again it was late and I was ready for bed. Sunday would be the last day of WACYPAA 18 and I wanted to be sure I was ready.  As it turned out, it was good I got plenty of sleep, but more about that in my next post.

Yours in love and service,

Bob H.


WACYPAA 18 – Area Chair’s Report #3

Wow, it was a long day on Friday and I never got a chance to post, so here goes!

Friday started early as I was meeting Cheryl N., our incoming Area Delegate, to do a bit of shopping for our shift in the hospitality room coming up on Saturday. By the way, the funds we used were provided by donation and not from our Area coffers. I made my way to her home and picked her up and off to town we headed.

On the way we stopped at a parking lot to hook up with the West Hawaii DCM to grab some display boards on General Service and other topics to use in the room during our shift.

Cheryl and I had a great chat while driving and shopping and reconfirmed our commitment to working together during the upcoming panel. I was the Alternate Chair when she was Chair during Panel 61 and now, in the upcoming Panel 65, I’ll be the Alternate Delegate to her Delegate. I should also mention that during my tenure Chair she was a huge help and generally the first person I called with questions.

Back at the hotel I recruited some help to get the things to my room.

I then spent some time in the hospitality room getting a feel for things and seeing if I could hook up my computer to the big screen TV in order to play videos. I could.

By this time it was getting later in the afternoon and I was getting a bit dragged out so I retired to my room for a hot bath and a quick nap.

And then it was evening and time for the big Friday meeting. First up after a few introductions were Na Wahine o La’akea. They did a stunning performance piece incorporating chant, Hula, and multi-media celebrating the strength and courage of women, both in history and in recovery. The received several standing ovations through the evening.

After the performance we were treated to a hilarious state countdown. I’d describe it but in truth you just had be there.

And then it was my turn. I was allowed 2-3 minutes for a welcome and I tried to stick to the Three B’s, be sincere, be brief, be seated. I couldn’t help but shout out WACY, WACY, WACY, in order to get back the PAA, PAA, PAA it always elicits.

I really did keep it short and did my best to express my admiration for the hard work it took to bring off this great event, and as far as I can tell everyone here is having a great time, as well as my hope that the relationship between Hawaii Area 17 and the various *YPAA committees continues to be strong and fruitful.

The speaker on Friday was Sasha L., a woman well known to the Maui community. She’d gotten sober at 15, if I’m not mistaken, and her share left me no doubt that she is indeed an alcoholic and that she loves AA. I’m always encouraged when I hear stories of young people getting sober so early because it means there’s hope that no one, whatever age, needs to continue living in hell. AA works at whatever age you need us.

After the meeting, and it was a doozy, I went back to my room for a couple of minutes to change and then headed off to open the marathon meetings. As I’d been attending WACYPAA committee meetings I was able to pick a slot for Area 17 to host a marathon meeting early in the process. I’m not going to say I picked 11 PM on Friday, the first of the marathon meetings this weekend, because I’m not as young as I once was and need my rest, I’m going to claim that it’s because my usual schedule has me waking at 4:30 AM and I just can’t stay up late. Both may be true.

I’d asked Micheal S., the incoming Maui District #5 (No Ka Oi) DCM, to share a few weeks back when he was on Oahu. He’d graciously agreed even though, like me, it might an hour or two past our regular bedtime. At five minutes to 11 PM it looked like we’d be playing to an empty house, something we’d expected because we were competing with the dance and a number of other late night events.

We were wrong. This has happened before though so…

We had a great AA meeting with a wonderful mix of local folks and mainland guests, newcomers with just a few days and long timers. Mike’s share was inspiring and everyone who shared afterwards definitely spoke the language of the heart.

At midnight, rather than risk turning into a pumpkin I headed for bed. Saturday was going to be another big one for the Area 17 contingent at WACYPAA as our shift in the hospitality room started at 8 AM, just when everyone was looking for a hot cup of coffee and some morning fellowship.

More on that in my next post.

From WACYPAA 18 I’m yours in love and service,

Bob H.


WACYPAA 18 – Area Chair’s Report #2

Aloha all and good morning!

I didn’t get a chance to write last night as I’m simply not a late night person and I was up a bit past my usual bedtime. Here at WACYPAA I’m probably the exception, but it’s not age related as much as work related. I usually rise at 4:30 AM. And yes, folks were up and about as I was headed off to dream.

I arrived at the hotel in the mid-afternoon yesterday and it’s a stunning place fronting the beach at Hapuna. Folks were already starting to arrive and I immediately started seeing folks I know. Not all of them were from Hawaii though as I’d met many people at meetings on Oahu would flown in and were making a longer vacation of it.

After getting settled into my room I headed to registration and discovered one of the things that’s making this WACYPAA special. Instead of preprinted badges there were several tables set up with lettering materials, colorful stickers, all sorts of markers and more, and we got to make our own badges. Here’s mine….

Bob's Badge @ WACYPAA 18

While this probably wouldn’t work at something like the International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous, it’s a great idea for a conference this size.

Speaking of size I don’t know the registration figures yet, but there are hundreds. I’ll let you know once I find out something accurate.

Next I wandered around a bit and chatted with folks from near and far. There’s a good percentage from the islands, but attendees are from all over including places all over the US and perhaps even further afield. There’ll be a state/location count tonight and I’ll find out.

After showering and relaxing a bit I went to dinner at one of the sites restaurants and then got ready for the first big meeting. The doors opened to the ballroom at 7:30 PM and we were treated to a blast of current dance music DJ’d by a former Area Chair, Nick. There’s hope for me yet! He encouraged everyone to dance and shout and make merry and the crowd did exactly that.

Then it was time for the speaker and she did a marvelous job of conveying the message of hope and recovery that is Alcoholics Anonymous. If I weren’t already sober I’d sure want to be after her share.

After the meeting it was time for the dance and general visiting. I met up with the gang from Rule 62 in Puna and chatted about the things we talk about for a good long while and then we all went down to the dance. It looked like everyone was having a great time, folks were out on the floor, Nick was jamming the music and, well, I was tired.

I made my way back to my room and started this post…but was too tired to finish it.

Things have only just begun here at WACYPAA 18 and so far it’s been great! I’m looking forward for more of the same…and better!

Yours in service,