Greetings from Melanie KJ4VCT! Happy Holidays to all of our GCARA Members and Friends! I am happy to announce that our Free Picnic was an “awesome” (per Em’s sister, one of our many young guests, expressed) and successful endeavor by our club. We had a fun, entertaining and physical egg hunt at Vista View Park on Saturday, April 8, 2023. We “Let the Dogs Out” first, each finding eggs with treats hidden in them and challenging owners and guests with a fun filled activity. We have Tom Savoca K9TJS, to thank for the huge animal response to our picnic invitation. Tom supports the club website and is our valuable PIO. His many contributions have afforded us more coverage of our club events and established many new sources of exposure. He is a friend to many, and we are enjoying his delightful attitude and many contributions to our club and community thus far. Thanks Tom.
Then, with children chomping at the bit to get their share of eggs and prizes, we let the kids go at it. The first object of the egg hunt was to have fun while learning about amateur radio. Second, the children needed to compete to find the most eggs in three different areas of the park. And third, our little guests and presumably future hams, had to find the Bonus eggs with the questions for Ricki Witte KJ4FSH, our HAM, to answer. Much to our delight and surprise, one little boy (6th grader I believe), had the exact answer to the question faster than our ham! I asked him how he knew the answer and he told me he got it wrong on his test at school and as a result would never forget the correct answer. I say BRAVO!!! Never give up and always learn from mistakes.
Michael Wolf K2HXC was a wonderful helper in our food department, cooking up tasty burgers and hot dogs for the hungry crowd. Our Michael is truly appreciated for his can do attitude and cheerful behavior while dishing up the food to us. Thank you, Mike, for all you do for the club and Hope Smith WB3ANE. She is having the time of her life attending activities that were previously hard for her to do within her network of friends. Mike has taken his time to help Hope go to parks to make contacts on his HF radio. I consider people heros who add quality of life to others. Thank you Mike.
Another hero of mine is Jerry Deitch W4LST. Not only does he support Ham radio on the evening TRAFFIC NET at 6 pm by taking all of those messages being sent, he, too has been transportation for Hope Smith WB3ANE, to events. To add frosting on the cake, Jerry has been a whole-hearted supporter of GCARA and has housed all of our Field Day supplies and been very instrumental in shopping for food with Melanie and Erik and Ricki. The amount of labor, time and thoughtfulness that goes into that, is a very appreciated by his peers and all of our guests. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Jerry, for your loyalty to the project and being there to share your volunteer spirit with our club for as many years as you have dutifully done so. Thank you, sir, for the kindness of your spirit and the largeness of your heart. The rest of us could not have pulled it off without your help.
In closing, I hope all who attended had as much fun as we Hams had in getting together. We, under the visionary thinking of Erik Olmer, W4EJO, our truly fearless leader and host to all of our future events, is very forward thinking and is a great problem solver. He is a God-send to our club and I hope people realize that his volunteerism covers many activities in communication, disaster relief, animal rescue, and special events in the community.
Thank you, Erik, for all you do as a volunteer, a leader and a friend to the community.