As we quickly wrap up another calendar year, it is great to reflect back on the progress the PRA has made in living out its mission:
“Our mission is serving others in promoting amateur radio in the community and providing the training and support required to become an amateur radio operator. We will develop, enhance and maintain radio systems suitable for providing communications for the benefit of the community; and when requested, to assist civil authorities. We will continue to promote a culture that gives opportunities for amateur radio enthusiasts to socialize, learn, exchange ideas and contribute to the enjoyment of our hobby.“
Before you continue reading, I encourage you to get your favorite beverage or make a meal for this month’s column. It’s a long one, but one well worth the price of admission; at least the author agrees.
We kicked off the year with some necessary repeater maintenance in January, which allowed our assets to be used to their full capabilities for the benefit of members and the amateur radio community. Also in January, we braved the chilly conditions and operated Winter Field Day from an amazing historic location owned by our PRA member, Stan-N0KKY. Stan has been so gracious to the PRA and its members by sharing this treasure over the years and it makes for a great venue of radio, fun, and friendship.
We also attended a number of hamfests throughout the year and with no surprise, our tables were usually two or three people deep, with interest in the what was being sold and information about the Club.
Equally exciting were the Portable Ops Events! This showcased our abilities to operate portable, while learning from one another in a variety of different setups.
As Spring rolled into the picture, we participated in several Wings-Over-the-Rockies events where we were able to setup a special event station each time. This was also a great showcase of ambassadorship in amateur radio to the public. Hams from all over the country and world wanted to work W0R and we even created a great QSL card that was shared.
In the summer, we supported a great organization in Pedaling for Parkinson’s by providing reliable and timely communications over a large area for a cycling event. Every year, the event organizers remind us how valuable the amateur radio service is by telling us, “we don’t know how we can ever do this without you.” A true testament to the inherent value of amateur radio in a public service. A major kudos to Bill and Ben for their amazing efforts as net control ops! Speaking of June, we all know that June is the pinnacle of our events with ARRL Field Day. Even though band conditions were not cooperative, the PRA showcased some amazing setups and proved how a lot of hands can make light of heavy work. Great job by all who participated and by Dana, NN0G, our Chair this year.
In August, we participated for the first time in a Self Reliance Expo in Elbert County. What a great it was to showcase various amateur radio technologies for reliable communications when yogurt hits the fan. We were fortunate to garner several new members from that event and we look forward to supporting it in the years to come.
Throughout the year, we held monthly Elmer Nights that were led by several members that gave back of their time, talent and treasures to new or returning ham radio operators. A variety of topics were covered throughout the year and the most well attended were those that we built antennas that people not only got to take home, but put into use! The capstone of the Elmer Nights was the tape-measure YAGI that was put into use at our Chili Social and Fox Hunt event in October.
As you can see, the PRA is ALIVE and ACTIVE and it is the individual contributions, collectively, that continue the snowball effect of great things happening within your organization. Behind the scenes, your PRA Board of Directors has already laid out an amazing plan for 2023 for not only our events, but monthly presentations. A tremendous focus on basics and supporting the new ham radio operator is paramount to our mission, but a response to the feedback we’ve received on what members want. What’s important in this is that members spoke, leadership listened, and action is taken. You’ve probably noticed that a time or two throughout this past year as well; sometimes not at the speed you may have wanted, but remember, your PRA Board not only guards and guides the organization itself, the Board is 100% volunteer, with the primary focus on what is right for the PRA, its members, and amateur radio. We’ve also restructured some committees and we will have more information on those changes in upcoming meetings. A lot goes into running the organizational aspect of the PRA, which leads me to a modify a quote from President John F. Kennedy…
“Ask not what your amateur radio club can do for you – ask what you can do for your amateur radio club.”
Piggybacking off of an ARRL initiative for 2023, we are encouraging all members to take one small step up the ladder. Being in the PRA is one thing; serving the PRA is another. Your service does not need to be anything revolutionary…serve as a net control operator once a year, offer assistance with Field Day, support Elmer Nights and be an ambassador to the newest amateur radio operator. Want to really move mountains? Check in to our weekly nets and get on the air! Offer advice, updates, news, suggestions in these weekly on-the-air opportunities. Being radio active and encouraging others to do so is a huge step in continuing the momentum that the PRA has and we need your support by you sharing your time, talent and treasures in some small way in 2023. You’re only a few weeks away from setting a New Year’s Resolution.
Dan – N2SRK
Parker Radio Association