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Al-Anon in Pierce County, Washington


Al-Anon Information Services

PO Box 98557

Lakewood, WA 98496-8557

Does someone you love have a drinking problem?


Navy Logo Anne B copy

The First Years of Al-Anon

Lois W Anne S.

Anne B.


Anne S.  

The Pioneer

Lois W.


Al-Anon Information Services

PO Box 98557

Lakewood, WA 98496-8557


Email: [email protected]

History Flyer pdf

Both Lois and Anne B. traveled the country to meet with family groups and AA Auxiliaries interested in merging. In May, 1951 forty eight of the groups voted to join together and 'Al-Anon Family Groups' was born.


Today there are over 24,000 Al-Anon groups, and nearly 1,800 Alateen groups, in 131 countries worldwide.


In 1936 Anne S, the wife of A.A. co-founder Dr. Bob S., began a meeting in Akron, Ohio so the alcoholic's wives and families could talk with other families who had similar struggles with alcohol. Anne S. is considered the pioneer of Al-Anon.


In the beginning, family members always waited in cars and kitchens while their struggling husbands attended the new ‘alcoholic group’ meetings.


By 1940, Lois, wife of Bill W. the other A.A. co-founder, began organizing meetings in Westchester, NY. These were tentatively called 'family groups.'  After this, families had their own meetings.


Anne S. worked with Lois in forming more family meetings back east. Both women advocated the use of a modified version of AA’s Twelve Steps to address the puzzling problems families faced in early sobriety.

Through the 1940's alcoholic family groups and 'AA Auxiliaries' increased in number across the U.S. as more families recognized their lives had also been affected by the disease of alcoholism.


After the death of Anne S. in 1951 Lois and Anne B., Lois' good friend and neighbor, began to explore the idea of unifying all the family groups under the umbrella of one organization for the benefit of alcoholic families & friends.


During an AA conference in 1951, Lois invited the wives of attending A.A. delegates to her home to discuss the value of forming a national group of families whose lives had been affected by someone else's drinking.