Over the next few months you may notice some significant changes in club, and I wanted to take a moment to explain what we’ll be doing these next few months and why.
First up, as you should be aware by now, the club has decided to run an upgrade class for anyone interested in upgrading their Technician license to a General. The goal is to re-invigorate our membership and become more “radio active”. This effort is two-fold, first it is to open up the world of HF operation to more people and second to draw on the experience of our more senior members to pass on their knowledge and experience. Our classes will be run as “review” sessions, not introductions to new topics, and while there will be one “instructor” it is expected that other club members will step in as needed to cover the material.
Second, as you may have heard, the club voted to investigate running a raffle right away, with the prize being drawn at HamCom this June. The basic idea is to get the word out that the Irving Amateur Radio Club is still around and active, and to do this the club has authorized me to contact HamCom to ensure we can pull our raffle winner at HamCom without upsetting anything the organizers have planned. Second, if HamCom has no issue with the raffle, I will put together Terms and Conditions for the raffle, and we will put together a web page and PayPal “button” that will control the number of tickets sold. The raffle will be publicized on-line via email “blasts” to area clubs and on the air in various nets members participate in. All ticket sales will be made on-line, and if an insufficient number of tickets are sold, refunds can be made at no cost to the club. As to the item to be raffled, the club agreed to raffle off a new Flex Radio Systems Flex-6300 HF/6 Meter radio with internal antenna tuner for an estimated cost of under $3,000. The tickets will sell for $20/each, and there will be a total of only 300 tickets sold. For those of you that have already run the numbers, that could/should produce $6,000 in revenue if we sell all 300 tickets (as I expect we will), and the proceeds in excess of costs will be divided evenly between the Irving Great Days of Service charity and our own club, with the club funds intended to be put towards refurbishing of the club shack at the Betcha Bingo Hall. The shack at the bingo hall is a great club asset, and with a little investment I think it could find increased use by club members going forward.
Finally, I have been told that our club will, again, be invited to handle “talk-in” for Hamcom this summer. Sign-up sheets will be forthcoming, but as in previous years, in exchange for free admission to the event volunteers are expected to work a minimum of two hours of service. Volunteers will be needed to perform both setup and take-down of the temporary station, as well as man the station during the two days of the event. In addition, the club has purchased a flea market table for HamCom, which will hopefully be used for the previously mentioned radio raffle drawing, and if there is interest club members could sell personal items on the table as well.
I am very excited about the future of our club, I hope you are too – to be successful we will need the help and support of the club membership, please, join me and help write the next chapter in the history of the Irving Amateur Radio Club.