December 2017, By: Sean S
JACYPAA started around February of 2015. Kyle J. and some other people from the VA Beach area showed up at the Saturday night YP meeting and got everyone excited about YP. I wasn’t there, I believe this was December or January and I was likely in AZ. Samantha S. asked me how we would go about starting a YPAA committee so I called some friends from Tucson to ask their advice; Eddie P, James W and Tim H. They all helped start Tucson Area Committee of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous (TACYPAA).
Our first meeting was roughly February of 2015. The original committee was; Sean S, Andy R, Samantha S, Meredith W and Mallory R. At our first meeting we did a few things; voted people into positions, voted to start a standing service committee that was going to bid on Virginia State Conference of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous (rather then a bid committee) and tabled what to name the committee. I was voted in as chair, Andy member at large, Samantha S was secretary, Meredith was events chair and Mallory was treasurer.
VSCYPAA 2015 was scheduled to happen Halloween weekend in Winchester and before the event we had several events to raise money and awareness, all of them at Milli Joes. Originally there was A LOT of negativity in Charlottesville AA about starting a YPAA committee. Some people didn’t understand the point and thought we were trying to exclude ourselves from AA and others thought young people in AA would fail in Charlottesville because at first people weren’t very active and it was hard to get people involved. A lot of the negativity was coming from people on the committee and it was hard not to buy into it.
Over the next few committee meeting we started a bid committee and Andy was bid skit chair, Roy M was hotel chair and Samantha S was bid packet chair. Originally, we were called Charlottesville Committee of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous (CCYPAA). At our last meeting Meredith stepped down and so did Mallory. Our previous event didn’t go well and that discouraged us all, resentments were definitely starting to build. Luckily at that same meeting Max D showed up and Dickie P. At first, I believe Dickie was co-chair and Max was member at large.
Our hotel chair disappeared and Samantha and Andy couldn’t make VSCYPAA, so we had no bid packet after six months of work. Max said he could go to VSCYPAA with me but I was pretty discouraged by this point. I called up Eddie P and he encouraged me to head there with Max and put in a bid, at this point part of me wanted to give up. Eddie said if we won the bid it would work out and to have faith. Max and I put together the bid packet Friday night and ended up winning the bid.
The struggles continued when we got back but a committee of dedicated individuals started to take shape. We dissolved the standing service body and formed a host committee. Rebecca D got involved and pretty much did the work of 5 people. Gary M was the treasurer of VSCYPAA Host, Vince S was events, Rebecca and Max did whatever was needed and held multiple positions and I was co-chair and hotel chair, Dickie was chair. We wanted to have the event in the summer but were having trouble finding a hotel. Chris W showed up and jumped on a hotel subcommittee and he’s the one who lined up Holiday Inn. The committee struggled some more but we did have a revolving door of people showing up since Max went to so many meeting and announced it. Dickie stepped down, Gary stepped down, Vince stepped down. Seth got involved, Tyler C, Taylor P, Linda G, Bri, Chris T, Melissa L and many others. To make this event happen many of us took on multiple positions but the events started going better, resentments started to subside and YPAA in Charlottesville started to grow. The second YPAA meeting, Group of Drunks, started to take shape. Then a third, Young and Savage.
After VSCYPAA, July 4th weekend 2016, we voted to dissolve the host committee and form a standing service body. Max D was chair, I was treasurer, Seth was co-chair and district laison, Rebecca D was programs, and Tyler C was secretary (who am I leaving out? )
Since our first YPAA committee YPAA has expanded not only in Charlottesville but in Virginia in general. We are in contact with young people from around the state, and hopefully it will continue to grow. As Bill W said “We commenced to make many fast friends and a fellowship has grown up among us of which it is a wonderful thing to feel a part” (Big Book p. 15).