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Al-Anon conference shares stories of healing and recovery

By Marc Benoit, Special to Seaway News
Al-Anon conference shares stories of healing and recovery
For the 45th year in a row, the AA and Al-Anon Conference took place at the Ramada Inn in Cornwall, ON. The event drew hundreds of people together to share in their experiences combatting alcoholism and addiction.

CORNWALL, Ontario – The 72nd Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon conference took place at the Ramada Inn in Cornwall, ON on Saturday, November 8, and Sunday, November 9, 2019. This was the 45th year in a row that the event took place in Cornwall. The event attracted a large number of people from across the SDG region and beyond.

Al-Anon and AA strictly follow adhere to anonymity for their members, speakers, and all others involved with their operations. Due to this, the actual names of the speakers and organizers
have been withheld.

“It’s been a great weekend, we had good speakers from out of town,” said a lead organizer for the event. “They blew the roof off this place.”

The original intent of the conference was to foster a sense of community amongst those struggling with alcoholism, said the organizer, who further acknowledged that the digital age has alleviated some of the loneliness once common amongst those struggling. The lead organizer “Everybody is searching for community,” said the lead organizer.

A full roster of speakers shared their experiences with a room of roughly 70 people. The crowd listened intently through moments of light humour, and at times which required deeper reflection.

“When we came here, we came here for ourselves,” said one Al-Anon speaker who shared her experience dealing with alcoholism in her own family. “I thought that was just life, and I was surrounded by people who also thought it was just part of life,” said the speaker, highlighting how she approached addiction amongst her loved ones early in her life. “It’s ingrained in our culture, none of us are safe from it.”

“It’s just a great meeting…this one has been exceptionally good because of the speakers,” said the lead organizer.

Al-Anon and AA are non-profits which rely on voluntary contributions, but do not solicit funding.

Their primary purpose is to help family members living with alcoholics, and those struggling with alcoholism respectively. Meetings are open to anyone.

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