Hopefully 2nd Story in for whole new chapter

An era is indeed ending for Minot’s 2nd Story when 40-year executive director, Alayne Okland, retires in February from the organization she has led since shortly after its inception.

2nd Story, a social club for those with disabilities, has been around since 1975 when a group of Minot residents got together to create a space for those with disabilities to go and socialize. After 43 years, they have grown from 35 members to 340 members, with ages ranging from 18 to 83 – an astounding record of growth that demonstrates the need for such an organization in the region.

Okland has been there overseeing most of that growth and expansion, as the organization also moved from a basement into a building and computerized.

2nd Story’s mission statement is to enhance the quality of life for adults with developmental disabilities through social, educational and recreational activities. Okland has worked hard to give this to the many members through a variety of activities offered Tuesday through Saturday. Some activities that are offered are movie nights, bingo, crafts, cooking and nutrition events, and many, many more. Volunteering and socializing have also been key components of programming and of connecting members with the community-at-large.

“We want our members to be a part of the community,” Okland told Minot Daily News in an article that appeared in Monday’s issue. “We encourage them to volunteer and give back. We help clean Main Street. We used to water the flowers when they had been on the ground. We do service projects like making quilts for the homeless shelter, Horn of Plenty, and we make cookies for firemen, airmen and police.”

The popularity of the program speaks for itself and speaks for the leadership of Okland. She will be missed, while she also leaves behind a program vastly expanded since its founding. Only, she isn’t really leaving; instead, she says, moving into a volunteer capacity.

On Feb. 3, 2nd Story will be hosting Snowball, an annual event that has been held for around 30 years. The Snowball begins at 6 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus and offers free admission, prizes, raffles, grab bags, dancing, dining and a silent auction.

Minot Daily News wishes Okland and 2nd Story the very best in their next chapters.

For more information on 2nd Story, visit secondstoryclub.com or its Facebook page.