Pictured (l-r) are: Scott Yonally, ARRL; Jeff Collins, 2020 HARA president; Pat Hagen, 2021 HARA president; and Tom Sly, ARRL (Courtesy of John Levo.)
Pictured (l-r) are: Scott Yonally, ARRL; Jeff Collins, 2020 HARA president; Pat Hagen, 2021 HARA president; and Tom Sly, ARRL (Courtesy of John Levo.)
Courtesy of John Levo

On a cool but sunny Saturday morning, 44 amateur radio operators from throughout southern Ohio gathered at Liberty Park’s Harmony Lake shelter house for the Highland Amateur Radio Association’s monthly brunch bunch get together.

The gathering marked two special events. It was the club’s first "meet and greet" and it celebrated the club receiving a national honor.

HARA President Pat Hagen, N8PAB, officially welcomed to the amateur radio community the newly licensed Highland County area amateurs.

They are: Chris Osborne, KE8RVJ, and David Wolfenbarger, KE8RVM, from Hillsboro; and Joe Holdren, KE8RVL, Rindy Matthews, KE8RVP, and Stella Wardlow, KE8RVQ, from Leesburg. Also introduced were Seth Hawthorn, KE8RVO, and Steven Frazier from Washington C.H.

Hillsboro’s Jennifer Ritter, KE8QKX, and Leesburg’s Kyle Fauber were unable to attend.

Also in attendance were officials from the national amateur radio organization – the American Radio Relay League. Great Lakes Division Vice Director Scott Yonally, N8SY, made the trip from the Mansfield area and Ohio Division Director Tom Sly, WB8LSD, traveled from Kent to present the club with the ARRL’s official designation as a Special Service Club.

According to the league’s website a Special Service Club is defined as “a club that exists to go above and beyond for their communities and amateur radio. They are the leaders in the amateur radio community who provide active training classes, publicity programs and actively pursue training projects and operating activities.”

Of the over 100 known ARRL affiliated amateur radio clubs in Ohio, only 12 have received this designation.

Representatives from the Dayton Amateur Radio Association were on hand to tell about the 2021 plans to observe the Dayton HamVention. HamVention spokesman Michael Kalter, W8CI, and General Chairman Rick Allnutt, WS8G, told that although health and travel concerns have cancelled the world’s largest gathering of amateur radio enthusiasts, there will be on-line and over the air activities to keep the HamVention Spirit alive this year. HamVention is normally held in late May and brings together between 25,000 and 30,000 ham radio operators from all parts of the globe to Xenia’s Greene County Fairgrounds.

Founded in 1974, the Highland Amateur Radio Association is an organization of over 130 Federal Communications Commission licensed amateur radio (ham) operators in Highland and surrounding counties. More information about amateur radio can be found at www.arrl.org or contacting the Club’s Information Officer John Levo, at 393-4951 or highlandara@gmail.com.