SALEM – The Salem Region Amateur Radio Association (SSARA) may have signed on for good, but the group’s mission to promote amateur radio communications in the Salem region will continue.
This is because the members chose to create a Salem Area Amateur Radio Association Fund through the Salem Community Foundation with their money remaining after disbandment.
“The idea is to advance amateur radio and emergency communications” said SSARA President David Sprouse.
Former members, their family members and others interested in amateur radio communications can donate to the Memorial Fund to help them grow. Donations can be sent to the Salem Community Foundation, PO Box 553, Salem, Ohio 44460, specify for the Salem Area Amateur Radio Association Fund, or call the SCF office at 330-332-4021.
“The fund will continue in perpetuity – forever” SCF Grants Coordinator Melissa Costa said, noting that SAARA members wanted the group’s legacy to continue.
Costa explained that the fund’s annual interest income will provide ham radio operations, materials, equipment, training and / or information in Columbiana County and within a 15 mile radius of Salem. Once the fund is established, if there is a need for training or
equipment, an organization may apply for a grant that falls under these guidelines.
The threshold to start a fund is $ 5,000 and SSARA had just enough to get started.
According to Costa, Church Women United of Salem made a similar decision when it disbanded, creating a fund to help continue the back-to-school voucher program for Salem students that started many years ago. She said the dollars in this fund helped the Brightside Project continue the back-to-school voucher program for students to get clothes and shoes before school starts.
She said the foundation is a great way for these organizations to continue. Families who want to commemorate loved ones can start funding scholarships for students or grants for the community, such as parks.
Sprouse said SSARA began in May 1987, at a meeting at the home of Bob Tullis, another past president and member. The group taught courses and gave exams for entry level licenses for amateur radio operators and provided communications during disasters, emergencies and community events, such as parades, march-thons and marches. bike races. The group also organized field days in parks to introduce the public to amateur radio operations.
With aging and low membership, the few remaining members decided it would be best to dissolve and start the fund so that the people of the Salem area could still benefit from amateur radio communications.
“I hope they will remember us for what we have done over the years” said Sprouse.
When there is a need for amateur radio operators, some of them will always be available. Tullis said when he was young there was a group called the Quaker Radio Association. Then came the SAARA.
“Believe it or not, there are a lot of hams in Salem”, Tullis said, adding “The SAARA leaves a legacy. We had a lot of people who went to our classes and graduated, taught, and graduated. We have given a lot of people a good experience with amateur radio.
Hearing your own call sign on the air while communicating with people around the world can be thrilling, he said. In this world of cell phones and the Internet, if all else fails, there is always ham radio for communication. There’s even one in the hospital, just in case.
He and Sprouse both credited former member Ginger Grilli with the idea of creating the fund. Tullis said SAARA member Lela McClaren made a donation in memory of her late husband, Bill, and others can donate as well.
The group sold some of their equipment to contribute to the fund, but also donated some equipment to an amateur radio group in Lisbon which is still active.