Melanie Fernandez

CQ, CQ, CQ, calling ALL hams………….

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! I hope that the holidays were kind to people and that you made many QSOs with friends and relatives this year. I have been praying for all to have good health this year and many fortuitous opportunities to use their craft with amateur radio. How blessed we are to have the skill of communication in this world, free and untethered by political intrigue. Let’s use it for the good of humanity and our fellow citizens and keep the lines of communication open to all.

It is my hope this year to see more volunteerism with our hobby. Even if you are past the age of volunteering there are things you can contribute to the hobby. For one thing, we need mentors for the newer generation and your help can make things go much better for new hams. Let’s use our license this year to make a big difference in the world from our home bases.

The first event this year for GCARA will be the Winter Field Day we are hosting along with Broward County ARES/RACES. Please do not undervalue this event. This does not happen by itself. It takes many hours of planning, paperwork and the coordination between many hams in our service to accomplish this exercise. It is very important that we see a return on our investment this year in the number of people participating in it or we may lose our venue altogether. The Broward County ARES/RACES group, as well as Gold Coast Amateur Radio Association Board, go to many lengths to provide for the ham community in this event and we also use this venue as an outreach to the public to allow amateur radio to be recognized and utilized in wider circles of society. The saying goes, “If you don’t use it, you lose it!” and that is so true here.

Our older members are now reaching an age where all of the planning and work that goes into a big effort like this, is getting difficult, no matter how positive the attitudes are. We need people who are interested in learning how to present and promote such a big event for our hobby in the future. If you have never volunteered, now is the time to do it for the ham community. Never before in our society, has it been so important and appropriate to keep our abilities to communicate with one another open and free. Censorship has become the norm in many circles. Let us not have our mouths muted in this tremendous, free opportunity for goodwill in the world. Let us share and use our talents in the world for the benefit of others.

GCARA seeks to thank and recognize the chairman of this event, Joe McGee NX4T, who has graciously and generously stepped up to do the planning and organization of our ham opportunity this winter. Joe has worked with others, like Tom Savoca, K9JTS, our PIO, Carol Sjursen KJ4AWB, Broward County RACES officer, Jeff Stahl K4BH, Broward County ARES Emergency Coordinator, Dan Vasilca AI4WW, Ricky Eaton KD4HGR, our Repeater Trustee, Gerald Deitch W4LST, Kenny Hollenbeck KE4NC, Aurora Figueiredo WD4AGF, Alan Lisler NT4AL, Jesse Shannon KJ4FKK, Ben Echavarria N7BBE, and newcomer Bill Mercer KE8TPU, all during the month of December, and through the holidays, to make this effort take shape. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your help in this effort. Without your generous natures, this event would not happen. Others will help in the execution of the event in the comfortable weather we have been promised this time of year and remain to be named later. Thanks in advance for making the load lighter.

GCARA has long had the reputation for hosting these Field Days and in the last year after the COVID Pandemic Era, we have struggled to come back. If things become such a monumental struggle in the future, and no one seeks to help, it may disappear, and we will have lost a great gift to our hobby. Get involved. Call Joe McGee NX4T at 954-782-3543 to see where you can volunteer in WFD this year. We need set up and tear down people, Ambassadors to visitors, operators on the radio, a bigger overnight crew and YOU to make this a successful venture. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

We will have several opportunities to enjoy this year’s function in the persona of antenna exhibits, a fox hunt, scheduled operating times so every person with a desire to operate a radio, can do so, and plenty of food to stave off the appetites of workers and guests.

For people setting up, there will be coffee and doughnuts from Dandees. Lunch will be hamburgers, chicken breasts, hot dogs and chili for the cool weather expected. We will once again feature the Overnighter’s dinner in the form of a Brazilian BBQ, prepared for those seeking to stay overnight. It will be a delicious high protein dinner with traditional sides overseen by Carol Sjursen KJ4AWB. You do not want to miss this incentive to stay
overnight and operate!

Mike Wolf promises to cook a morning breakfast on Sunday morning featuring bacon, eggs, bagels, coffee and orange juice to start your day.

Please do not let our efforts be for naught. Come out and visit, operate or view our exhibits, and greet any hams from out of the area who may stop
by to visit. There are never strangers at our events, only friends we have yet to make.

Thank you for your consideration and start the year off right!!

-submitted by Melanie Fernandez KJ4VCT, President of GCARA

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