Gottawanna Home Group was established in 1961 as “Fullerton Tuesday Night Meeting”. In 1978 the Al-Anon Family Groups of Orange County California had no Step Study Meetings; in fact Al-Anon did not have any literature to use to study the 12 Steps. Our Group Longtimer at the time, Sue Drum, only had two years in the Al-Anon program.  She had the desire to study the Steps and put them into practice into her life as she knew her husband, Keith, and members of Alcoholics Anonymous were doing for their own personal growth.  Members of an AA Step Study meeting lovingly voted to allow Sue to sit in their meeting and study the Steps with them.  Applying the Steps to your life seemed to be the solution for Al-Anons too rather than be a ‘wives group’ or a meeting for sharing your woes or taking the alcoholic’s inventory.

Sue found a location and contacted a Longtimer from Texas by the name of Arbutus O’Neal that she had heard speak on the Steps at a convention a couple of years previously.  Arbutus had shared regarding Al-Anon Family Groups adapting the 12 Steps from Alcoholics Anonymous for our own personal growth and the way to accomplish the Spiritual Growth from this program was to find our own God through these 12 beautiful Steps.  Sue asked Arbutus how to study these Steps in an Al-Anon Meeting and was told that at the International Convention in 1970 Bill Wilson had dedicated the AA  12 & 12 Book to Al-Anon Family Groups in order for them to be able to have Al-Anon Step Study Meetings.   Arbutus became a life long friend to Sue and her family through the love and support she gave to their Home Groups.

Hence, the first Al-Anon Step Study Meeting of Orange County was started in June, 1979, in Placentia, CA and named “Gottawanna.” The Group loved the growth they were individually experiencing and in keeping with the slogan “Keeping the Light Touch” they often would state that ya ‘Gottawanna’ grow through the 12 Steps to participate in our Group!!! Most of the members attending the Friday night Step/Tradition meeting  also attended most of the other meetings listed in this web site, so liking the ‘catchy’ name Gottawanna they adapted this name as their “Home Group” name.

So the Gottawanna Home Group was founded because of the love found for Alcoholics through the practice of these 12 Steps and 12 Traditions being applied to our lives on a daily basis just “One Day At A Time”.

We also want to note that Arbutus O’Neal was also very instrumental in helping Sue and Keith’s daughter, Simone Drum.  Simone grew up through Alateen, transitioned as a young lady into Al-Anon and moved to Italy to become a model.  Finding that Italy did not have Al-Anon Step Study meetings, she invited Arbutus to Milano, Italy to speak on the Steps and help the Italians start a Step Study Meeting there which is known as 12X12.

Several years later Al-Anon World Service Office published Al-Anon’s first book “12 Steps and 12 Traditions” in keeping with Al-Anon Conferenced Approved Literature.  Now Al-Anon members all over the world are now growing through Step,  Tradition, and Concept Study Meetings.