President Reagan presented A.A. with a Volunteer Action Award in a ceremony at the White House on April 13, 1983. It was given to recognize A.A.’s 48-year history of providing the suffering alcoholic with a way back to society and family.
The President’s Volunteer Action Awards were created in 1982. They highlight those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments through voluntary action. Accepting the award for A.A. was William E. Flynn, M.D., then a nonalcoholic trustee on the General Service Board. The award itself is in the form of a sterling silver medallion.
The President made the following remarks when the award was presented:
“Alcoholics Anonymous, begun in 1935 by two men diagnosed by medical specialists as incurable alcoholics, is a unique program of support, example and friendship by recovering alcoholics for new members. Since A.A.’s founding, over 650,000 men and women who have participated have overcome their alcoholism.”