A Brief History of the of the Tri-County Conference
John C. of the Flat Rock Friday night group and Joe B. of the Local 1299 Group came to the Central Office AA of Greater Detroit group representatives meeting on October 11, 2010 in order to clarify for everyone exactly how the Tri-County Conference was started and what the original intentions of the founders were. They stated that they were two of the original founding members of the conference which included Billy C., Wayne L. and other members of the Dearborn Heights, Hubbell, Local 1299 and Wood Street groups. Originally they had all tried to volunteer to help the Michigan State Convention but were told they could not volunteer unless they were already on the area committee. They were disappointed by this and decided to start their own conference that would be “of the people, by the people, and for the people” and that would not exclude any all members from volunteering. They stated that this was the original purpose of starting the Tri-County Conference and that it was not started as a fund raising event for the AA of Greater Detroit office.
After they came up with the idea they came to the AA of Greater Detroit group representative meeting on August 10, 1987 to ask for support from the groups and the Central Office, including some financial support if needed because they were not sure if they could raise enough start-up money on their own and wanted the backing of a legitimate, recognizable entity like the Central Office. The group representatives voted to support their efforts and to “sponsor” the conference. Joe and John wanted it to be clear that the conference was founded as a separate entity and was always independent of the Central Office but that the two groups have always worked together for the success of the conference. As it turned out they were able to raise enough start-up money through group donations and by using their own personal credit cards that they did not need any funding from the Central Office.
To their surprise the first Tri-County conference actually made money so they decided to keep enough start-up money for next year’s conference and donate the rest to the Central Office. They believe that is still the best use of the money and would like to see that continue. They further stated that it was their wish that the Tri-County Conference committee and the Central Office continue to work together as partners to keep the conference alive for everyone in the Tri-County area. They also feel that the conference has become too much about ”the money” and that we should always make sure that the location of the conference rotates thru Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties, even if we make less money, as this was their original intention when they started the conference. Finally, they stated that they felt there was nothing wrong with the Tri-County Conference committee keeping their own start-up funds for the next conference as that is exactly what they did in the beginning.