Where there’s a will and a way, the community will flourish
In these days of big dreams and not enough cash to go around, businesses and organizations alike are pretty much left to their own devices if they want to change or grow. School teachers, firefighters and police officers have grown adept at grant writing, and board chairs, band directors and CEOs have become proficient at fundraising.
Some have been more successful at it than others, but the driving force of self-sufficiency has definitely enjoyed a revival in recent years.
One local project has quietly and steadily moved forward under its own power, without attracting much notice or fanfare. For those who have been a part of it, it has been a labor of love from the start.
When the aging Alano Club on Cloquet’s 10th Street was faced with extinction four years ago because it was so badly in need of renovation and there was too little cash on hand to complete it, the various 12-step groups that used it for their meetings – and their supporters – were unwilling to give up on it. What seemed like an insurmountable goal became a personal challenge.
Those who valued the old building and the support meetings for recovery from alcoholism and other addictions held there took it upon themselves to talk with others they knew in the community to rally support. Their appeals fell on fallow ground, because other businesses and organizations realized that the stakeholders in the facility and its programs come from a broad cross section of the community, and they wanted to help out. And help out, they did.
Where financial resources were lacking, many volunteered their time and energy to help out with the renovations themselves.
The resulting upgrades not only made the building safer and more functional, but they had an unexpected outcome as well – use of the building nearly doubled and some 150-200 people now visit there weekly to take advantage of its supportive groups.
It was the classic case of “where there’s a will, there’s a way” – something the 12-step program embraces in the purest sense of the word – and it should serve as an example to the rest of us that we, too, can get through these tough times and keep our community a great place to live.