Members of the Highland Amateur Radio Association gathered Tuesday evening at Hillsboro United Methodist Church for their annual reunion and Christmas dinner. Club President Pat Hagen welcomed the approximately 90 members and guests in attendance.
Following the welcome and catering meal, the Chairman of the Nominations Committee, Richie Hagen, announced the leaders for the coming year. They will be Pat Hagen as President, Tom Mongold, Jr. as Vice President and Kathy Levo as Secretary-Treasurer. Sam Johnson will join the executive committee as a director for three years. The other directors are Richie Hagen, Ken Lightner and Jeff Collins.
President Hagen recapped what has been another successful year for the club by noting the many and varied activities the club has participated in. portable emergency-style stations in four Ohio State Parks during the Ohio State Parks Operations Live Event and active participation in the Weather Service SkyWarn Amateur Radio Reporting Program national. He also highlighted the Club’s community engagement plans to decorate veterans’ graves at Hillsboro Cemetery ahead of Memorial Day and provide the Hillsboro Uptown Business Association with communications and assistance during the recent Christmas parade.
He noted that an FCC licensing class and test sessions had enabled several new hobbyists in the region to obtain licenses. Several members received certificates of appreciation for the things they did to benefit HARA throughout the year.
Hagen then introduced special guests Dale Williams and Scott Yonally, who are elected officials of the American Radio Relay League. Williams, who traveled to Hillsboro from near Detroit, briefed HARA members on ongoing amateur radio actions with the Federal Communications Commission. Yonally praised the club for being one of the premier clubs in the state and nation. They then presented HARA Public Information Officer John Levo with the Phil McGan Silver Antenna Award. They explained the process that the ARRL board of directors follows each year nationwide to select and honor a club’s public information officer with the award based on the promotion of amateur radio at the national level. within a community, interaction with local officials and media, and the amateur radio community. .
Following the program, an exchange of gifts took place and door prizes were awarded to the participants.
Since its founding in 1977 with 20 members, HARA has grown into one of the largest amateur radio clubs in Ohio with over 140 members. Of these, approximately 125 have licenses issued by the FCC and reside primarily in Highland County. According to the FCC database, more than 200 amateur radio licenses are currently issued to postcodes in Highland County.
Information about amateur radio and how individuals and communities benefit from its services in an emergency and how it is an enjoyable and educational pastime can be obtained by visiting the site ARRL Web www.arrl.org. Those wishing for information on the local association, its licensing classes and testing sessions, as well as its involvement in the community can contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the club’s Facebook page, or contact Levo on 937 -393-4951.
Submitted by John Levo, HARA Information Officer.
American Radio Relay League Elected Dale Williams and Scott Yonally present John Levo (center) with the Phil McGan Silver Antenna Award.