This award is among the most prestigious recognitions that an Amateur Radio Club can receive and we are only the 4th club to be so honored in the 61 year history of the Dayton Hamvention. This is an International Award with clubs from around the world being considered. The last winner was the Deutsche Amateur Radio Club of Germany. 

The criteria the judging panel considers includes the club’s contribution in mitigating the effects of disaster situations, support of public service events, amateur radio education and recruitment, youth programs, years of service, number of members, and local media coverage. The awards chairman Michael Kalter, W8CI, said that we excelled in every one of the judged criteria and made special note of our work with the South Florida Science Museum, youth recruitment, our large ARISS contact, training classes and excellent media coverage. After narrowing down the field of candidates on paper, telephone interviews were conducted to make the final choice. The announcement of the award winners was made live on the Ham Nation show hosted by Bob Heil, K9EID, and Gordon West, WB6NOA, on Twit.TV. 

It should be noted that this award reflects the efforts of the entire club, and no single individual or small group of individuals is responsible for all of us being so honored. The 150 members of our club all contribute something to our success as a group. Some of our members, who are fortunate enough to be retired and secure, contribute a lot of volunteer time. While those members who have to work 40 (or more) hours a week to earn a living have less time to participate, their efforts also contribute to all of our success. And of course our youth members, who have to attend school and do homework and have less time to spare really make a difference by being there when they can. Every single member is important to the club and everyone makes a difference by the sharing of their time and experience. It is this combination of people that has made us successful and worthy of such an honor. 

This award also reflects favorably on the state of Ham Radio in Palm Beach County. With about half of our 1600 square mile county densely populated and some 3000 licensed Amateur Radio Operators, no single club can meet the needs of all. We have about 10 active clubs in the county, all serving different geographical or specific interest areas. And unlike some areas where there is a lot of competition between clubs, we have a lot of cooperation between clubs in Palm Beach County. We are all united by our enjoyment of Ham Radio. We are all Hams first and club members second. And we all work toward the common goal of improving Ham Radio in Palm Beach County for everyone. 

The Dayton Hamvention is the largest gathering of Amateur Radio enthusiasts in the world with an expected attendance of 25,000 including many from other countries. It has been held in Dayton, Ohio every May since 1952. For more information visit their website at 

For more information on the West Palm Beach Amateur Radio Group visit our website at

Happy New Year to all Southern Florida Section Amateur Radio Operators.

Thank you for being an ARRL member. Your ARRL membership is very
important for all of us in Amateur Radio and for our Section.

I have two important announcements to make:

First, I would like to announce that I have appointed Jeff Beals,
WA4AW, as Assistant Section Manager. He is my second in command and my
backup. As most of you know, Jeff lost his bid to be re-elected as the
Southeastern Division Vice Director, but he will remain very active
with the ARRL for our Section. We have a large Section with many
things to do, and Jeff has the experience and dedication to really help
us out. Many of you know Jeff personally. Feel free to contact either
one of us with your questions, concerns, issues, ideas, etc.

Second, I want to remind everyone that next Saturday (January 15th) is
our Section Convention at the Ft. Myers Hamfest. Norm Fusaro, W3IZ,
will be coming down from ARRL headquarters to talk about Logbook of The
Word (LoTW). If you use LoTW or you are curious about it, you won't
want to miss his forum. We will also have an ARRL Section forum. The
senior management of our ARRL section will be well represented with
myself, Jeff Beals, WA4AW, Steve Lowman, N4SGL, our Affiliated Club
Coordinator, Ted Huf, W4ZE, our Section Emergency Coordinator, and
Phyllisan West, KA4FZI, our Traffic Manager. If you are at the
Hamfest, plan on attending the ARRL Section forum whether you have an
ARRL field appointment or not and bring your questions, comments,
concerns, issues, ideas, etc. The ARRL Section forum will also have
door prizes.

I hope to see many of you at the Ft. Myers Hamfest!


David Fowler, K4DLF, SFL-SM