Happy Fall Hams! With the recent changes in the weather, I can tell that Fall is upon us. It officially begins the day before our monthly meeting and it will be a welcome change to our rainy summer. Here’s hoping that the Hurricanes stay away.

We had a nice summer with a great Field Day exercise at Quiet Waters Park and a very well attended Quarterly Dinner in July at Wing’s Plus in Coral Springs. The Board has been very pleased with all of the interest and participation in both events.

We plan to close out our year with another strictly Social Dinner October 12, 2019 at Wing’s Plus again and I hope that everyone will join us to touch base with our many friends and fellow hams. As you may realize, the November 26th meeting will close our 2019 year for GCARA and will be the last opportunity to see your friends at a club sponsored meeting until we resume again for Winter Field Day, Jan. 25th 2020. Our first meeting of the year will be after that on Jan.28, 2020. The architects of the Winter Field Day for 2020 will be our “Fearsome Foursome” Joe McGee NX4t, Jeff Stahl K4BH, Ricky Eaton KD4HGR, and the fabulous CW master Dan Vasilca AI4WW.
We are so lucky to have such Field Day diehards among us. They LOVE FD and all it brings in the way of challenges, demands, and socialization with competition. They each try to out do the previous year with thought provoking innovations and lessons gleaned from previous attempts. Thank you gentlemen for your volunteerism and leadership.

It has been my absolute pleasure working with everyone in the club this year. We had an outstanding presence in many efforts in the ham community as we are encouraged our fellow community volunteers (CERT in particular) to learn more about amateur radio and will extend ourselves to many more in 2020. The idea of volunteering will be promoted again in 2020 so we can create a larger footprint in the world of communications during times of community disasters or bad weather conditions. As many Hams are aware, we are hams first for service and to help others keep lines of communication open as well as enjoy this ever evolving fascinating hobby. We are all here to help one another, teach one another and respect one another for the many different skillsets each person brings to the table. Together we are genius!!!

The GCARA Board met in August and discussed all of the plans for the rest of this year and the beginning of next. All but one member of the Board agreed to serve again in 2020 if the Club agrees. Ricki Witte, our super sweet, talented Treasurer must step down for personal reasons for 2020 but we have a newer contender waiting for the opportunity to continue Ricki’s efforts with the position. Our goal in 2020 as Board members will be to execute our future plans AND mentor those willing to offer leadership for our future CLUB. We hope to nourish, enrich, and sustain a cohesive group that will prevail beyond our present limitations. We would like to carry on our founder Chuck Ritchie’s (SK) group of hams beyond our own lifetimes. So many good, talented and intelligent hams have gone before us and it is only suiting that we carry on in their stead. We have large shoes to fill but we will give it our best efforts now and in 2020.

You will be hearing more updates on the repeater antenna and other things in the works by our Trustee Ricky Eaton, KD4HGR at our September meeting. As always he has dedicated a lot of his and Eric Rodriquez, KF4LZA ‘s time to improving our footprint in the county and updating our communication system so it will serve the future adequately. We hope to one day link our resources to others to provide a wider broadcast area at least for times of emergency.

I also want to extend a big thank you to two hams who stepped up in the Hurricane Dorian adventure to cover our service in cooperation with the EOC at John Knox Village, the home of our repeater. Thanks you Joe McGee NX4T and Jerry Felski WB4LGR for attending to the plans set for the in early Spring. We were well represented by these two gentlemen.

I am pleased to have made note that many of our industrious hams were involved with the EOC and shelter communications during Dorian as well. At the EOC, were Carol Surjsen KJ4AWB, Races Coordinator, Jeff Stahl K4BH, Ares Coordinator, Erik Olmer W4EJO, GCARA volunteer, Jeff Ronner W4AEQ, GCARA volunteer and (Bill Rafus from Are Races). In the shelters (special needs first) were Ricki and Mel Witte, Kenny Hollenbeck, Mike Wolf, and Jerry Deitch., Monitoring the airwaves for communication needs were Al Flapan, John Sharp, Don Search, Joe McGee, Jerry Felski, and eavesdropping was Melanie Fernandez, (yours truly for the first time!) It was a fascinating experience and I hope that we will get more volunteers for the future who are willing to jump in and serve the community. The experience served as a “practice for a call –out” and all went smoothly to my understanding.

Our next ham experience opportunity will be the Winter Fest Boat Parade and all people interested in helping that effort are to contact Carol Sjursen. More info on that at the meetings.

I wish everyone well in the ham community and hope that every day will be satisfying in many ways. May God bless each and every one of you in the coming days.


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