Congratulations GCARA for a wonderfully executed Field Day. About half of the membership currently attending our meetings showed up for Field Day to help us with set up, pull down and operating. I counted 38 members, 34 of which were ARRL members attend. This was the BEST Field Day effort I have witnessed from the club thus far. There were over 50 visitors and other HAMS who just dropped by to visit and lend a hand as well. I did not get an accurate count on paper but informally I believe we had close to 100 people at the event.

We started early to plan and everyone who volunteered for a part did an excellent job of performing. I want to thank the four architects of Field Day this year, Joe McGee, NX4T, Jeff Stahl, K4BH, Dan Vasilca AI4WW, and our wonderful Repeater Trustee, Ricky Eaton, KD2HGR, for their due diligence in planning, meeting separately and facilitating a memorable Field Day.

Instrumental in advertising and creating a general interest in Field Day this year, were, Erik Olmer, W4EJO, Carol Sjursen, KJ4AWB, and Mike Wolf, K2HXC, who got the media attention and worked on Facebook to make announcements and create interest. Thanks to Erik, we saw Coco, the K-9 and ELMO from Sesame Street. Carol used her connections to get Emergency Management there as well as various officials of city agencies.

Where would we be without good food? Nowhere, that’s where. Ricki Witte, KJ4FSJ, made a batch of her Fabulous Chili and Mike Wolf made his mouthwatering Cole Slaw. The great fresh burgers, dogs and sausages were cooked to perfection by Sherry Tullo, KB5VWW and she was aided by her husband Ralph Tullo, N0LO, in keeping the grill up and running. Sherry’s presence this year made all the difference to me for cooking. She cooked to order, kept the grill spotless and kept her usual smiling demeanor while doing it. The ambient temperature that day outside was approaching 100 degrees. Add to that the temperature of the grill 350 degrees to 450 degrees and you have a hot house to work in. Well done Sherry and Ralph. Thank you so very much!

We had an antenna farm like no other I have ever seen at Field Day. Both sides of the Bald Eagle Pavilion was surrounded by all sorts of antennas and it was impressive to say the least. Thank you to all who helped erect the antennas, brought the equipment and designed special ware for the event. There were some new innovative technology tried and this time we were able to make solar contacts and we were set up for satellite as well. There were also some impressive GO KITS, the likes of which I have never witnessed as well. Thank you Erik Olmer W4EJO and Mark Lukinovich KW1O and our loveable Kenny Hollenbeck KE2NEC, who had all sorts of interesting things for us to look at and buy or trade. It was a lot of work but it was done impeccably with a “little” help from our friends.

What I saw this year that stood out for me was the combined efforts of very giving people who love the hobby of amateur radio and are generous enough to share it with everyone. We would not be effective if not for them. That is what attracted me the most about Ham Radio, the people and their generosity and willingness to work for others so unselfishly. It is less about “me” and more about “we”. What can “we” do to make things better? This demonstration of all the concerted efforts of those named and unnamed, are the HEART of Ham Radio. Congratulations to GCARA and our guests, Palmetto Amateur Radio Club, for a job well done!

Warmest regards,

Melanie Fernandez KJ4VCT

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