Happy New Year Gold Coast members and others!! May the Lord grant you excellent health and happiness in the coming
new year.

First of all, I would like to say GET WELL to all those who are presently infirm, whether we know about you or not. I am saying an open prayer for all of us to be healthy this year. Perhaps you can join me in that prayer for others.

I personally had the honor of working last December with Carol Sjursen KJ4AWB and Jeff Stahl K4BH on the Winterfest Boat Parade activities. It was the second time I served as a scribe and was privy to see the inner workings of the event. It was a joyful and exhilarating experience. Carol and Jeff do a fantastic job of mounting antennas for the event for use by police and Coast Guard in the Control Center where managing the parade, takes place. Carol is known for her cool-headed approach and ability to facilitate the messages coming into the control center from our hams on the bridges and parks as well as the Control Boats helping in the Parade. She gets logistics and problems and gets the appropriate department to solve the issues. She handled so much during the parade but never lost her positive attitude and willingness to communicate clearly with everyone involved. It was indeed a joy to watch her and Jeff handle the problems that arose in this, as in many big endeavors like this.

I want to thank everyone who volunteered for the bridges and parks, many of them are club members, who give of their time and talent every year for this effort. We love you and need you to volunteer for these slots to ensure a smooth operation. Perhaps for 2022, we will get a few more people interested in helping us.

Also, I would like to thank those hams who had offered to do community service by volunteering for the shelters during hurricane season. I want all of you to seriously think about supporting the community in 2022. Let’s show our abilities and practice our craft for the benefit of those who need our help. Your community is thankful for all you do behind the scenes to make life easier and safer for all concerned. Please volunteer and get your friends involved as well. We need each and every able-bodied person we can get. To learn how you can best help our community, see Carol Sjursen or Jeff Stahl.

Another area requiring help is the Southeast Florida Traffic Net which airs every evening at 6 pm on 146.610, PL tone 110.9, for the purpose of practicing sending traffic messages to people all over the US. It will be a helpful tool in emergencies to be well versed in passing and taking traffic and the practice will help you become a “smooth operator” on the air. Please give some serious thought to becoming a Net Control for the SEFTN. Please contact the Net Manager, Kenny Hollenbeck KE4NC, or go to SEFTN.net to get more information. Our club, again, is serving heavily in this capacity and we need more volunteers as Net Controls. It’s fun and you will be hearing ME more this year on the air, too. Bushels of thank yous go to Charlie KN4VDW, Mike K2HXC, Erik W4EJO, Dave KB4ICU, Jerry W4LST, and Kenny KE4NC and all those who support this effort in such a dedicated way. We love you all.

GCARA will have its first General Meeting on Jan. 25th, 2022. Please be aware that this meeting will be atypical as far as meetings go. First, we will meet at 6 pm so that our speaker in England can provide his talk in his own time zone before midnight his time. Second, we will start with HIS presentation BEFORE the business portion of the meeting. I am hoping to have a lot of people on board for the meeting and hope to see many of you there. Please try your best to accommodate this speaker. We will not be able to record this meeting as it is in direct conflict with the speaker’s own commercial interests but we will provide links to his Webpage. I am looking forward to a great year of speakers, thanks to Charlie Artner KN4VDW, who has agreed to help me in this effort. Charlie has been a true blessing to the club over his tenure as secretary. He has taken on so much responsibility with being webmaster, secretary and now arranging speakers, badges and helping me to keep track of projects that are ongoing. He is truly an energetic and giving soul who also volunteers in ARES/RACES, Winterfest Boat Parade, and the SEFTN 2 days a week. He has become the “wind beneath all of our wings” and we truly appreciate him so much. Thank you, Charlie.

It is sad to think there is no more Mike’s Electronics now. I am happy that Mike will be able to retire and spend more time with his wife Gilda in the years to come. Mike has been a sponsor of the GCARA for over 20 years and has always been responsible for making sure the South Florida Hams get what they need in the way of advice, information or radios, and gear. He has always been a pleasant partner with the club and has been an irreplaceable friend to all he has served. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, Mike, for ALL that you have done for us. You will be greatly missed.

Lastly, I want to thank all of our members who are so kind, sweet-natured, and generous in all they do for the club. I will not name names because I will probably leave some people out but you know who you are. You are the ham who volunteers for duty selflessly; the one who works behind the scenes to make sure this club runs well. It is that person who has seen a need for the club and filled it with a donation of money or equipment. It is that one person who cheerfully gives of his time and talent at Field Day or is cooperatively working to help others who need technical or physical help with equipment. I believe that this club has a heart for others and it shows big time. Thank you, all of you, who help show what community is and spread that cooperative possibility like a ripple in the water that continues to touch others. People often forget how far a little goodwill will go, both as an example to others and as a constructive tool for society as a whole. I am proud to be a member of the Gold Coast Amateur Radio Association and look forward to the best year ever in 2022!! God bless everyone!

Melanie Fernandez (KJ4VCT)

Gold Coast
Amateur Radio Association

P.O. Box 773, Pompano Beach, FL 33061-0773

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