Members of the Blackstone Valley Amateur Radio Club (BVARC) in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, conducted an innovative “Amateur Radio Day” at the Bellingham (MA) Public Library on September 14, 2019.
BVARC Board of Governor’s member Mickey Callahan, K1WMC, proposed the idea to the club officers and received a commitment of support to hold the outreach event in nearby Bellingham. Along with BVARC President Matt Penttilla, N1AQ; Vice President Marc Caouette, W1MCX; and Rhode Island Section Manager Bob Beaudet, W1YRC, they tackled the logistics and formulated “a simple plan on how to present Amateur Radio and promote the club in a fun, positive way.”
“Teri Diiorio, W1PUP, was instrumental in the design and layout of a new color brochure,” writes Mickey Callahan. The club also produced signs for the event along with promotional images and text on their website for the event. In turn, the Bellingham Library advertised Amateur Radio Day on their website, Facebook, and Instagram pages, as well as in the Bellingham Bulletin calendar of events.
K1WMC reports the event was a huge success. “We were fortunate to have reasonably good weather and a large group of club volunteers setting up working radio station demonstrations. The HF station that was set up outside, under cover, involved installing a multi-band fan dipole wire antenna from a very large pine tree adjacent to the parking lot. We used the IC-7300 HF radio and power supply, on loan to the club by Bob Beaudet, on the 20- and 40-meter bands. We also had several members set up working QRP and DMR stations.”
BVARC featured various displays of QSL cards, vintage radio equipment, along with laptops displaying videos highlighting various aspects of Amateur Radio. The ARRL supplied a number of informative leaflets, logo pens, and decals touting the importance of amateur radio in the community and how one could go about obtaining an amateur radio license.
Eastern MA Section Manager Tom Walsh, K1TW, attended at the invitation of the Blackstone Valley club. He was very impressed with the club’s activity and congratulated “our neighbors to the south.”