Preparing for World Service Conference
I received the invitation for the Conference Call for new members on December 18th. It came with specific instructions on how to join the conference call and how to participate in the conference call.

Then, I received the Welcome Letter from WSO on December 19th. The WSO uses AFG Connects for communication of time-sensitive information. They continue to use e-mail for individual communications. Every conference member must have access to the internet and e-mail. My login and password remained the same since I had access to AFG Connects as the Forum Coordinator for our Area. Once you obtain a login and password from WSO for anything, that’s your login and password forever (unless you change your password).

As a Delegate I will have the opportunity to serve on one of the Selected Committees (Conference Committee on Trustees [CCT], Literature Committee, and Public Outreach Committee or on a short-term Thought Force or Task Force. I have already submitted the survey to indicate my abilities and interests and really, really hope I get to serve on the Literature Committee.

WSO asks all new Delegates to submit a picture for the Welcome poster in the Hospitality Room during Conference so Conference Members can get to know us. I had issues trying to get a print copy of a photo, but in the end I perservered – and mailed the photo last week, well ahead of the February 28th deadline.

The Conference is in West Harrison, New York this year, beginning Monday, April 16th for new Delegates. I will register that morning at 8, and meet with my mentor prior to the New Member Orientation Session from 9 am until noon. The orientation session is to help the new members feel more confident and comfortable with the procedures and processes of the WSC. We can ask questions so that when the orientation is over we will feel comfortable and confident in our role as a new Delegate.
Registration is also in the Hospitality Room. This is where we will be able to order CDs of the 3-minute talks, opening dinner talk and spiritual speakers; pick up messages; and check for mail or packages (“love gifts”) that we can display in the Hospitality Room. The Hospitality Room encompasses a hub of activities where people can meet and greet.

We will have a seating chart in the conference information showing us where to sit during the General Session of the Conference. They have left nothing to chance!

The opening dinner is scheduled from 6:30 until 8:30 pm. It’s a time when all Conference members can socialize with one another over a meal. It is a fun evening for everyone before the very busy week ahead. This is when I will receive my Conference pin!

We received our Conference Procedures Booklet on January 3rd, and I was ready for the Conference Call on January 6th. The purpose of the call was to get acquainted with Conference information and to ask any questions.

We were reminded that the purpose of the Conference is to make the group conscience available and effective for all Al-Anon.

We then reviewed the Conference Procedures Booklet, KBDM and Conference etiquette, including dress, attendance, punctuality, picture taking, electronic devices and audio/video recording. We were encouraged to read the 2017 World Service Conference Summary in preparation for the Conference.

The address for sending “love gifts” to the Delegate at Conference is:
Leah L., Delegate
Renaissance Westchester Hotel
80 W Red Oak Ln
West Harrison, NY 10604

Be sure you include my name and address in the return address section, and put “Hold for WSC 4/16-4/20,2018” on the package somewhere. You should plan to have any packages or cards arrive at the hotel after April 13th.

I was very excited when I received my Conference Communication Kit on January 16th. It had all of the information I needed to make airline reservations for the Conference. The WSO makes all of the hotel arrangements and the shuttle arrangements after they receive your airline information. All but about two or three meals are eaten with the group, and breakfast is at 7 am each morning.

We will be visiting Stepping Stones on Wednesday. This is Bill and Lois Wilson’s home, and I’m thrilled to get to visit this revered space.

Reach Out to Children of Alcoholics
Al-Anon members can let teens and adult children know they are not alone and that help is available in Alateen and Al-Anon by sharing Al-Anon and Alateen social media posts and adding #coa (children of alcoholics). You can find links to all Al-Anon and Alateen social medial properties on the WSO website.

Preparing for SERDGT
The Southeast Region Delegates Get-Together is scheduled for March 16-18th, in Altamonte Springs, Florida. I will be rooming with our immediate Past Delegate, Tarcila F., and our Alternate Delegate, Karla K. My airline reservations are made – and I’ll start packing when I get home from AWSC!

I will get to spend time with our former Chairman of the Board, Paula B., on Saturday evening, with all of the current Delegates, to discuss the Southeast Regional Trustee position. We’ll hear a report from our South East Regional Trustee, Bruce F., and discuss the 2018 Conference Theme – Al-Anon—There is no standing still!

The New Delegates welcome includes discussion of “what to wear,” “how to prepare,” “what to bring,” and “how to self-care.” Tarcila will present the 2017 Board of Trustees Big Question – “How to Empower Members” after lunch on Saturday.

I am looking forward to discussion of the “hot topics.” This year, the group decided to select 4 or 5 Chose Agenda Items from the 2017 conference that were not discussed at Conference. We’ll have that list of topics the end of February.

AFG Connects
There are many AFG Connects communication outlets. The Area Delegate and the Area Chairman receive copies of every communication. I receive these communications every day.

The officers and coordinators who receive these communications should be sure to pass along any pertinent information to the AWSC e-tree. If I don’t see something from you within a week or so, I may prompt you – depending on the importance of the communication.

The various AFG Connects posts include:
AFG Connects – AAPP (Area Alateen Process Person)
AFG Connects – AIS
AFG Connects – Alateen
AFG Connects – Archives
AFG Connects – Area Chairs
AFG Connects – Area Treasurers
AFG Connects – DR’s
AFG Connects – Forum
AFG Connects – Group Records
AFG Connects – Literature
AFG Connects – Past and Current WSC Members
AFG Connects – Public Outreach
AFG Connects – Web Coordinators
AFG Connects – WSC Members

WSO 2017 Finance Preview
The Chairman of the Board letter is published quarterly. In advance of the February Chairman of the Board letter we were notified that there is good news and good news.

Although we didn’t quite make it to our budget goal of $2,100,000 in contributions, WSO had its second best year ever. The best year was 2016, at $2,098,000, due to the efforts and generosity of the Al-Anon members. For 2017, the unaudited figures put our income at $1,973,000 – over $300,000 more than 2015. The hope is that we’ll reach that same level of contributions in 2018, so the work continues as we try to get that message out to the fellowship.

Literature sales exceeded budget expectations by $186,000, which is exciting. The net profit for literature sales is $68,000 over budget, and $54,000 more than 2016.

Expenses were very close to budget, and included a lot of wonderful improvements and projects from the World Service Office.

The net result is a small deficit. Although that is disappointing, it is not alarming. With the reserves on hand and the continued support of our amazing fellowship, AFG Inc. will be able to support all of us in our efforts to spread the message of help and hope.

Miscellaneous Info
One of my main responsibilities is to keep the AWSC contact information updated with the World Service Office. If you have any changes in mailing address, phone or e-mail address, please let me know right away.

As Delegate I get a notice when a new group is registered in our Area. I’ve received one notice so far this year.

My responsibility, as your Area Delegate, is to be a conduit of information between the Area and the WSO. I will listen to concerns and entertain questions and ideas from the officers, coordinators, DR’s and GR’s, and note all Area decisions. I’ll take those with me to Conference, where I’ll listen to the concerns, questions and ideas from other members of the Conference. Then I will listen for the will of my Higher Power and vote on behalf of our Area. When all Conference members do that, the decisions reached at Conference are then the larger group conscience of all Al-Anon members.

Area Alateen Process Person – WSO Conference Call
Finally, I attended a conference call for Melinda E., our Tennessee Area Alateen Process Person, because she was out of the country. It was very useful information, and I have forwarded my notes to her. There is an Alateen Coordinator conference call scheduled for today at noon.

Respectfully submitted,
Leah L., Delegate, Panel 58