A Brief History of Suffolk A.A. in Suffolk County
The start of A.A. meetings in Suffolk County has been traced back to the early 1940's. By the end of the 1940's we had active, and established groups in Huntington, Sayville, Riverhead, Bayshore, Southampton, Amityville, and a few other communities.
The 1950's & 1960's saw an explosive growth in A.A. as Suffolk County became one of the fastest growing counties in New York State.
In 1966 five towns near Riverhead sponsored a Hotline to aid suffering alcoholics. This allowed them to call locally and receive help from the nearby groups. Newcomers had reported the reluctance to spend money to call New York City. Those that did either received no response or were called several days later, and by members of distant groups.
By 1970 A.A. had grown considerably in Suffolk, and the need for more local centralized service was apparent. The answering service was extended county wide with a majority of the groups contributing to the support of the service. In addition to answering calls for help and information, referrals for 12 step activity, hospitalization and sponsorship, meeting lists were compiled and distributed and program exchange meetings were arranged by the Hauppauge Group.
In March of 1973, a unanimous vote established full Intergroup status. With 85 groups throughout Suffolk County, and with over 190 meetings per week.
As of March 1998, Suffolk County has over 390 groups with 750 meetings weekly. Over twenty five thousand county meeting lists are distributed three times per year, at no charge. The Hotline has always been manned twenty four hours a day by A.A. volunteers. Each October, Suffolk County hosts it's annual Share-a-thon with workshops throughout the day. Suffolk General Services representatives meet monthly and have active committees dealing with Public Information, Treatment and Corrections facilities, Archives, Special Needs, Cooperation with the Professional Community, Literature, and the Grapevine (A.A.'s meeting in print). Suffolk General Service also hosts an annual Unity Breakfast.