Members of the Highland Amateur Radio Association gathered on Tuesday evening at the Hillsboro United Methodist Church for their annual meeting and Christmas dinner party. Club President Pat Hagen welcomed the approximately 90 members and guests that were in attendance.
After the welcome and catered meal, nominating committee chairman Richie Hagen announced the officers 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 three-year trustee. Other trustees are Richie Hagen, Ken Lightner and Jeff Collins.
President Hagen recapped what has been another successful year for the club by noting the many varied activities the club participated in. Among those activities highlighted was participation in the annual American Radio Relay League’s emergency operating and preparedness training exercise called “Field Day”, setting up portable emergency style stations in four Ohio State Parks during the Ohio State Parks on the Air operating event and an active participation in the National Weather Service’s SkyWarn amateur radio storm spotter reporting program. He also noted the Club’s community involvement projects of decorating veterans’ graves at the Hillsboro Cemetery prior to Memorial Day and providing the Hillsboro Uptown Business Association with communications and line-up assistance during the recent Christmas parade.
He noted a FCC licensing class and test sessions resulted in several new amateurs in the area gaining licenses. Several members were presented certificates of appreciation for things they have done 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, updated HARA members on actions regarding amateur radio taking place with the Federal Communications Commission. Yonally commended the club for being one of the leading clubs in the state and the nation. They then presented HARA Public Information Officer John Levo with the Phil McGan Silver Antenna Award. They explained the process the ARRL Board of Directors takes each year nationally to select and honor a club’s public information officer with the award based upon the promotion of amateur radio within a community, interaction with public officials and the local media, and the amateur radio community.
Following the program a gift exchange was held and door prizes awarded to those attending.
Since its 1977 founding with 20 members, HARA has grown to be one of the largest amateur radio clubs in Ohio with more than 140 members. Of those, about 125 have FCC issued licenses and mostly reside in Highland County. According to the FCC data base, over 200 amateur radio licenses are currently issued to Highland County ZIP codes.
Information about amateur radio and how individuals and communities benefit from its service during emergencies and how it is an enjoyable and educational hobby can be obtained by visiting the ARRL’s www.arrl.org website. Those wishing information about the local association, its license classes and test sessions, as well as its community involvement may contact the club at [email protected], visit the club’s Facebook page or contact Levo at 937-393-4951.
Submitted by John Levo, HARA information officer.