by Bill Carroll, KC9CIK
This year’s Hamvention 2018 theme is “Amateur Radio…Serving the Community.” This is the biggest reason I got into amateur radio over a decade ago. I wanted to help with a small charity bicycle ride as more than a cyclist. That bicycle ride was the MS150, now called Bike MS. This bicycle ride also led me to the St. Louis and Suburban Radio Club. Several of the Ham’s I met were part of this club, and I wanted to support a club that was supporting the community.
Looking back on 2017, I know we have several people within our club that have served the community through radio, and their skill with the hobby of communicating over the airwaves. We have seen weather spotters, weather nets, at least three charity bicycle rides, parades, Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES), and Hospital Amateur Radio Network (HARN). These are just the opportunities I know of. I’m sure there are several other ways amateur radio operators have served that I am not aware of.
Now for a couple of shameless plugs. If you want to know how you can get involved, make sure you follow our SLSRC.org website. We have a great team that tries to get information out there. Also, come to Winterfest at the Gateway Center in Collinsville, IL. I know you will be able to talk with tons of folks who have had community service hours over the past year, and will be more than willing to tell you about how you can help. ARES will also have a table at Winterfest and they can help direct you to chances to hone your radio skills in a way that serves the community.
Remember by serving our community, we may find it is our community that will support amateur radio when we need their backing. The more often we can show the public how we are here to help, the more we help to protect our airwaves.
My final thought. Please make sure if you can, come out to our next general meeting. The next meeting is a week early, on Friday, January 19th. We will have an election to place our final two officer positions. Both the President and Vice President positions have people who wish to represent your club. Members will be also have the option to be nominated from the floor just like our normal procedures. Come out and vote for the person of your choice.