The Origin Story
In the mid-80s Clancy
was speaking at the Sunflower Round-Up and coined the phrase “Pockets of
Enthusiasm”. He was referring to clusters of AA groups with a high level
of the “spirit within” for recovery. Following the Sunflower conference,
Dick and Peggy M from Bellevue NE started the Pockets of Enthusiasm round-Up in
Omaha, NE. I was able to be a part of that conference for a couple years
before moving back to Spokane in 1991.
(In 1993) Clancy I. had spoken at the Foxhall NW Group 2nd anniversary meeting. Several hundred people showed up to hear him share Saturday night. Sunday morning Clancy and fa few Foxhall home group members went out to breakfast at the Golden Corral Buffet. Also attending the breakfast was a small group from the Pacific NW meeting, Tacoma, WA, as well as a Pacific Group offshoot from Helena and Bozeman MT. Not knowing these “pockets of enthusiasm” were so close, I suggested we start a conference that would move from one community to the next each year. The Spokane, Tacoma, Helena and Bozeman groups would each host a speaker and all would share in the financial responsibility of the conference. We also invited the Spokane Al-Anon Family Group to participate in the weekend and offered two speaker times. The second year those from Montana suggested the conference should stay in Spokane as the travel to Tacoma would be too far. No surprise, Tacoma felt the same way about trekking to Helena. We stayed in Spokane. After about 5 years the Montana contingency backed out to start the Northern Rockies Pockets of Enthusiasm, and Tacoma resigned to spend more time and effort on their conference – Sponsorship Conference. Spokane AA meetings, The South Hill Group and the Prescription for Living Group, have bowed out as sponsors as well as Spokane AFG.
Today the conference continues to host four AA and ONE AFG speakers with the help of many AA and AFG members.