The Sobriety by the Bay Conference was started in 2017 to give the Bay Area a place to express their enthusiasm and gratitude for Alcoholics Anonymous. The 3-day event allows members to jump into service, hear powerful speakers from all over the country and get into action by participating in a 4th-step workshop. It was created because a group of Alcoholics wanted to show that any alcoholic who is willing to go to any lengths can make the impossible possible.
The conference was held at the Midway in the Bayview district in 2017 and 2018. Ben W. was the first main speaker in 2017 and he kicked off the beginning of the conference with a bang! He started his share by talking about being a high bottom drunk since he took his last drink on the top floor of a maximum security penitentiary. He turned all of these difficulties into a compelling message of strenuous 12-step work and being on the fire lines of life. The Saturday night main speaker was Lyle P. who came out from Georgia to share his engaging story. His story "Grounded" in the back of the Big Book turned into a special experience hearing it from the podium. He had a room full of 700 people hooked on every word!
The 2018 Conference's main speaker was Clancy I. who delivered another hilarious and incredibly spiritual message of AA. No one was surprised! He had everyone in the room relating to our crazy adventures as drinkers and how we can turn this past into our greatest asset for helping other alcoholics recover. The room was full of his sponsees so there was no doubt in anyone's mind that he wasn't just talking from the stage, but leading by example.
As the Conference began to grow it was moved to Grace Cathedral in 2019. Bob D. from the Connect the Dots group was our Saturday night speaker. It was an exciting night to get to hear an AA member share their experience, strength and hope in an historic venue. The main sanctuary at Grace was packed with AA members from all over the Bay Area. Some even travelled from outside the US to attend the event! Bob conveyed a message of substance of what happens when you start living what the Big Book talks about.
In 2020 the conference had caught a lot of momentum and the excitement had grown. This was best represented in the 4th step workshop. Paco D. led the session to a crowded room full of long timers and newcomers all putting pen to paper. It was a special sight to see. All of the members who donated sponsorships so that rehabs and people who could not afford to get into the conference could have a seat really got to witness the rewards of their actions. For many newcomers in that workshop, it was the first time they started on their 4th step and a lot of them left with sponsors! It was amazing to view our 5th tradition at work. The main speaker that night was Kent C. from Ohio. His dynamic share touched a lot of audience members that night. He was so excited about AA that he could not stand still and was walking from side to side on Grace's stage. After a day full of fun AA events nobody left the church not inspired to do and give more to the program that has saved our lives.
The 2021 Conference was postponed due to the Covid Pandemic. The good news is the Conference returned in 2022 with a new found excitement. The AA community was grateful to meet back in person and feel the irreplaceable connection of in person contact. Chris R. from Texas was the main speaker and gave a share that was worth the 2 year wait! His honesty and experience of working with countless alcoholics in the trenches gave hope to all the members that filled up the main sanctuary at Grace.
These past 5 conferences have made a large difference in a lot of lives of the alcoholics who have been fortunate enough to attend. The committee wants to extend a giant THANK YOU to everyone who has donated their time and money to make this possible. We have been able to donate $18,599 to the San Francisco Central Office.
The committee is hard at work planning for the 2023 Conference. We have moved to a new venue in San Jose and have Wayne B. coming to share on Saturday night. We also have Tina A, Michael J. and Art W. coming to donate their time and share their message of AA. We hope to see you there!
Sobriety by the Bay
Congratulations Sobriety by the Bay Participants!!!
Due to your effort and enthusiasm, we were able to donate $7,800 last year!
Since 2017, Sobriety by the Bay has donated $18,599 to SF Central Office.
2021: Pandemic cancelled conference
Thank you so much to everyone who helped out this year.
We couldn't have pulled off such a beautiful event without every person in attendance!
See you all in January at our new location in San Jose!
Contributions this year will go to the Santa Clara County Central Office.