2015 – 2016 Highlights

2015 – 2016 Highlights

FAIRS 2015-2016 Highlights

F.A.I.R.S. guiding philosophy over the past year:

To engage communities as part of the goodwill!

 To follow are notes regarding the progress made by FAIRS related to goodwill works via amateur radio during the past year:

Local Updates:

On September 19th, 2015 a special event station for the Floyd Livestock & County Fair was held at Chantilly Farm, the new location of the event. Several operators from Floyd Amateur Radio Society (FARS) attended as well as on-air participants involved.

FAIRS hosted a local groups of Boy and Girl Scouts for the 58th annual “Jamboree on the Air” or JOTA. The event was hosted at Chantilly Farm and provided opportunities for the Scouts to learn about amateur radio communications as well as enjoy camping at the farm. The event helped the Scouts satisfy the requirements to obtain their Radio Merit Badge. Members from the Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Association (VTARA) were available to help scouts learn about amateur radio and make contacts both here and abroad.

In November, 2015 on Election Day, local trained amateur radio operators provided standby emergency communication support at polling places throughout Floyd County, VA. Officials were pleased to have the communication support and FAIRS was able to provide great coverage by experienced, licensed operators.

In November of 2015 FAIRS and the Floyd County Amateur Radio Club joined local hams together to provide assistance for the annual Veterans Day and Christmas Parades. The group provided radio communications for the events, functioning as spotters and giving parade reports. The group was instructed by net control at the E-911 center. This was a great example of FAIRS providing a public service, with Tom King W4VZH coordinating the effort and David Larsen helping to equip volunteers.

January 31st, 2016 marked the first Winter Field Day, located on the stage pavilion of Chantilly Farm. The event was used to simulate weather conditions and emergency communication coverage while using batteries and generators for power.

In March, members of FAIRS and the Floyd RACES Group provided auxiliary communications services for elections on Super Tuesday 2016. A communications log was maintained and all precinct tests were conducted successfully.

In May, FAIRS donated a G5RV antenna for Hamvention 2016. This large convention of ham radio operators and enthusiasts was attended by several FAIRS members, operating the FAIRS booth that has been regular at the convention since 1993.

In May Chantilly Farm kicked off its’ event season for 2016 with the venues amateur radio station, N4USA, being fully operational and open for use for visitors. Many special events are planned to take place at the venue, with Floyd Amateur Radio Society (FARS) members providing on-site communication.

In June, FAIRS conducted Field Day at Chantilly Farm with amateur radio operators in the community and members of FARS. Field Day is held annually to simulate and prepare emergency communications services in the event of a disaster. A “Get On The Air” station was also up and running for the event, giving new enthusiasts and unlicensed individuals a chance to see what amateur radio is all about.

During July, FAIRS was a sponsor for a basic electronics program as part of the Art/Maker Camp organized by the Floyd Jacksonville Center for the Arts. Maker camp encourages young kids to use their creative to build and design different things, whether it is woodworking, painting, sculpting, or even electronics! FAIRS helped with adding electronic components to the art the children had made in their week at the camp.

Summer 2016 marked nine years of FAIRS and its supporters sponsoring a summer intern program. Local students Autumn Townley, Amber Ingram, Rina van Blerk, Nate Cleveland, Cord Johnson, Alice Cox, Emily Wilson, and Bryan Dowd were all local paid interns as a result. Bryan Dowd participated in the program in summer 2016.

As of summer 2016, Russ Abbey KG4MAV continues to be head of communication for our local Skywarn net, a network designed to train volunteers within the county. These volunteers are essential as The National Weather Service depends on people to communicate local weather conditions.

A roster of local amateur radio operators has been updated with levels of certification verified and a system of rotating net control including more hams and increased training.

Several updates were mentioned in the FAIRS newsletter this year and distributed to members and friends of the organization.

Work is continuing among local amateur radio operators towards a “Buffalo Mountain Repeater” which would be of great value to the FAIRS and FARS projects. FAIRS has donated funds towards radio equipment for the project.

2014-2016: An Emergency Operations Center has been set up in the County Administration Building. This station functions as a place to back up first responders in the case of an emergency.

 

Updates Abroad:

In September 2015, FAIRS sent assistance by Love One, Teach One co-founder Tony Williams to the people of Dominica who had been affected by Tropical Storm Erika. The storm caused significant flooding, landslides, and a lack of electrical and communication services for the island of Dominica. Tony Williams has handled the shipping of food and supplies with at least four large barrels being shipped to those in need. FAIRS continues to reach out to individuals and organizations in Dominica to allow for growth, exports, and self-reliance for the locals.

Manjurul Haque S21AM continues to promote FAIRS and amateur radio goodwill in the country of Bangladesh, despite government restriction and control. In 2015 Manjur began a Free Electronics Project Building, a small club in his house to help students develop science projects for a school science fair. Manjur realized that many of the students “are interested about radio, antenna, etc. , but the government cannot see its usefulness for educational purposes.”

At the end of 2015, David KK4WW and Gaynell KK4WWW Larsen made their yearly trip to Dominica to oversee FAIRS foundation projects and assist the community by providing education related to emergency communications. Dominica suffered great loss following Tropical Storm Erika in August, a storm bringing massive floods and landslides. Many individuals are still displaced, as costs for repair are incredibly high. After the storm hit, FAIRS was able to help with disaster relief by shipping food, supplies, and medical equipment, much of which was donated by local Floyd businesses. FAIRS also supports the Dominica Amateur Radio Club, a group dedicated to providing communications to those in need on the island. David and Gaynell regularly stay with Clement and Hetty J73HPL and are always thankful to have such gracious hosts. The Larsens kicked off the new year with a late Christmas party for the children of Love One, Teach One (LOTO, an organization that benefits the children of Dominica capital Roseau. FAIRS provides some of the funding for this organization and members are always pleased to see the great things the LOTO group can accomplish. LOTO leader Gloria Walsh and her daughter purchased and wrapped gifts for the youngest students, with the Larsens providing the food and drink for the event. The Larsens also visited friend of FAIRS Joseph Guiste J73JT, overjoyed hearing that Joseph’s children are attending college, a luxury many Dominicans cannot afford. “We are so excited for her (Josephs daughter) to be studying something she is so passionate about” commented Gaynell Larsen. FAIRS also addressed the growing needs of the people in the Kalinago Territory, an area with needs such as clean water, safe shelter, and education towards health and family planning. The Larsens brought clothes, shoes, baby items, and more to the group, much of it being donated by friends and businesses in Floyd. Along with the flooding and landslide damage, Tropical Storm Erika destroyed a FAIRS radio antenna that had been placed years before. A new beam antenna and a 160 meter Windom antenna were purchased and sent to Dominica, with supplies arriving in early March.

In June, Gaynell and her daughter Lisa worked with Josanna Lockhart Brown from Dominica in providing additional aid to the island. Three suitcases full of supplies were carried on the trip this time

The Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Bangladesh has granted a license renewal to FAIRS Bangladesh to continue their Amateur Radio Service Station S21FHQ. A number of individuals apart of the program have also renewed their amateur radio licenses in the past year.

FAIRS continues to support several projects related to ham radio and charitable outreach. Josanna Lockhart, now ministering in Antigua; Joanna Lockhart, overseeing the Dominicans Against Drugs (DAD) program as well as subsidiary children’s programs as well as Joan Lockhart, overseer of ministires within the Castle Bruce and Kalinago Territory. The Wotten Waven Village Improvement Committee and the “Love One, Teach One” foundation also continue to provide outreach for those in need.

Chantilly Campground: An Amateur Radio Destination Worth Seeing

Chantilly Campground: An Amateur Radio Destination Worth Seeing

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Chantilly Campground owner Dave Larsen with our N4USA Antenna

Chantilly Campground is a ham-friendly events venue with our very own Amateur Radio Station, N4USA, in our Campground office. Guests can hook up to our existing campground antenna or connect one of their own as Chantilly Farm sports plenty of spots to set up a structure for Amateur radio broadcasting. Radio background noise is extremely low, being we are in a rural area with no industrial noise and very few close neighbors. QRP operators love this location for many of these reasons, finding it to be a very usable and fun place to get on the air. Wifi is available from most locations on the farm and many find it is a delight to operate from Chantilly Farm using their own call signs, or our resident station, N4USA.

David KK4WW Curator of N4USA and owner of Chantilly Campground has been a ham operator for 63 years and comments that this is one of his favorite spots in the world to operate from. Being located in Floyd nestles Chantilly Campground in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains with amateur radio operators saying they love our 2,500 foot mountain top elevation. VHF/UHF operators have incredible signals up and down the East Coast.

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Chantilly Campground N4USA Station

Our camping guests can choose spaces sporting full service with water, 30/50 amp power, and septic if they intend on RV camping or may choose to tent camp on our beautiful 200 acres. Some primitive tent locations do have AC power but there are a limited number of these. We market ourselves as a year-round campground facility with winterized spots available.

 

Camping in RV spaces 16, 17, 18 or 19 allows guests to hook up their radios to an existing G5RV antenna and enjoy an incredible HF signal from our mountain top location. Guests should feel free to operate directly from their RV if they wish!

Floyd County, VA has many other interesting events and activities that the whole family can enjoy. The area is known for its cultural events with many artists and musicians living locally! Every week there is a variety of events within the county, with a number of art galleries and studios being open for business year-round. For those looking to get active, Floyd is happy to have many miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway stretching through our own county with the Virginia Crooked Road, a cultural cornerstone of Southwest Virginia. Guests may be interested in visiting Chantilly Farm during one of our festival weekends or to participate in other events at our farm.

2013-2014 Highlights

2013-2014 Highlights

F.A.I.R.S. guiding philosophy over the past year:

  To ENGAGE COMMUNITIES as PART OF THE GOODWILL!

 

To follow are notes regarding the progress made by FAIRS related to goodwill works via amateur radio during the past year:

 

Latest Local News:

 

  • FAIRS is a sponsor of NOT-FOR-PROFIT CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES at CHANTILLY FARM. While Chantilly Farm is a largely for-profit events venue in Floyd County, Virginia, FAIRS often partners to provide a charitable aspect to certain events and/or to provide communications coverage.
  • As of March 2012, Floyd County High School is home to an official Red Cross designated shelter. It is located in the old gym and the radio station will be located in the coach’s office.  The roof is accessible by a ten foot ladder which is stationary in the boiler room to set up antenna. A classroom will be set aside a classroom for crisis counseling.  Our local Red Cross leader is William (Casey) Medlock (Emergency Services Associate).
  • As of May 30, 2012, W4FCV has a 2-meter pair coordinated through SERA on 147.210 with a tone of 114.8. The repeater is located on Harris Hart Road at the school board’s tower in Floyd.  Russ Abbey has done the leg work related to this, with the help of local hams. In June 2012 we were presented with possession and care of a 10’ x 12’ equipment building, a 20 KW backup generator, and a huge tower with 4 antennas which were previously abandoned off of Harris Hart Road.  Citizens gave a 7-foot rack cabinet and local hams worked on the 2-meter and 440 machines.  As of 2013, we have a network of repeaters in use.
  • Since beginning of school year 2012: We hold amateur radio club at Floyd County High School with call sign N4FCH!  Annemarie Radke is sponsor.  Weekly and in-school club meetings are held and activities, photos are posted to Facebook for students/members to check for updates and share the page with friends/family.  Special speakers, demonstrations, and projects have kept our students coming back and the club is growing!  N4FCH participates in School Club Roundup with lots of interest from the kids; they are half way to the ARRL’s worked all States (WAS), and they made several overseas contacts. We have been working with tracking satellites for sat-com as well as working with digital modes.  As of May 6, 2013, Floyd County High School Amateur Radio Club N4FCH is an approved affiliate of American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national association for amateur radio.
  • In Floyd, at the County Administration Building, we’ve set up an Emergency Operations Center/Station: The equipment has been ordered to get everything set up and running, and the project is progressing.  Related to both the tower near the School Board Office and the EOC station, a Memorandum of Understanding with the County has been established and is now finalized.  In October 2014, the EOC will function as a critical station in backing up first responders.
  • 2013 – present: Floyd Amateur Radio Society (FARS) offers a number of functioning laptop computers by program entitled “LAPTOPS ON LOAN”.  These are loaned for use by high school students of Floyd County who show interest and need by the process of application.  This program was initialized by FARS president Tom King W4VZH, who was aware of a need by area students to have laptop computers to assist in studies and to fulfill school and college pursuit obligations.  Selected recipients of these computers will have use of them as long as they are active students in high school in Floyd County, with parent permission and a promise to return the computer and not sell it.  It is anticipated that this program will level the playing field for students who don’t currently have use of a (laptop) computer outside of the school setting.  The project is ongoing and supported by directors of FAIRS.
  • August, 2014: With leadership by local ham Glen Sage, W4GHS, there is communication between Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and local EmComm groups to form RED teams which would help with communications during the upcoming winter months in emergencies.  FAIRS stands ready to support Rapid Emergency Response Teams in our area.

 

Other Progress locally in ’13-’14:

 

 

Progress abroad in ’13-’14:

 

  • Encouraged community function of existing DARCI headquarters, where construction has been completed. There is a classroom for communications training, restroom facilities, additional communications capabilities, etc.  This site continues as center of relief activities during disaster, a place for communications training, and a venue for meeting and public service.
  • DARCI club members have been instrumental in providing volunteers and training individuals all over the island in communications, emergency assistance, and community service. The number of licensed volunteers has increased exponentially.   Trained amateur radio operators deploy to neighboring countries in response to the need/disaster.  FAIRS is pleased to be a part of the training these folks have received.
  • Current and former DARCI presidents Clement Pierre-Louis J73CPL and Clem James J73CI continue to be liaisons for working communications in government.
  • FAIRS directors David and Gaynell Larsen, and members Tom King W4VZH, Seth Sjoestrom J79/SM0XBI and friend Tore Sandstrom J79/SM7CBS, George Morriss J79KUB and other members have worked countless hours as volunteers over the last several years to update systems, repair equipment, do installations and training, and provide motivational and monetary support.
  • Communications equipment, supplies and medicines were transported and distributed to many in Dominica. Amateur radio operators/Volunteers from all over the nation have stepped up to help with this.
  • FAIRS presented repeater cards and battery banks needed to maintain the amateur radio communications system island-wide. Clem James J73CI received them on behalf of the club.
  • FAIRS gives motivational support to club members multiple times each week.
  • Reinforced or replaced existing equipment, provided additional power, plus funds for maintenance, services.
  • Monitored the use of supplied radios for new amateur radio enthusiasts and emergency personnel, plus a central Hf station has been put into service to benefit the community.
  • Disaster Management Committee functions largely on its own, with request to FAIRS for equipment and communications training from time to time. They are implementing an “emergency plan”, and have established 10 “safe homes”, or shelters in this hurricane-prone village on the Atlantic. We receive report from Chairperson Hyacinth Thomas regularly.
  • A meeting place has been set up for club use by the Castle Bruce Amateur Radio Club. Facilities have been augmented.
  • Funds continue to go out in order to sustain programs which benefit the fishing village of Castle Bruce, DA and residents of the Kalinago Territory. Gloria Walsh of “Love One, Teach One Foundation” now has focus in the Kalinago Territory as well as in capital city Roseau.
  • FAIRS continues to support Josanna Lockhart Brown of DA (we have a longstanding relationship and have supported cooperative programs for children and elderly (Dominica, Jamaica, and recently Antigua); Joanna Lockhart Alexander of Castle Bruce, DA, now over DAD (Dominicans Against Drugs) and subsidiary children’s programs; Joan Lockhart, overseer of ministries within the village of Castle Bruce & to the Carib Territory (Kalinago).
  • Hyacinth Thomas is a principal related to an additional clinic for the region which services the many needy families in the area, medically.
  • Learning is provided through a new pre-school program (in a renovated facility in the basement of a church in Castle Bruce). Pilgrim Community Preschool received donated playground equipment/swingset, which has been set in place.
  • Portable “free clinic” services (or on “pay what you are able” basis) have been implemented by missions workers – FAIRS obtains medical supplies and funding to support free health checks and treatment. Nurse Germain is an example – she may be found outside of Whitchurch Grocery every day except Tuesday.
  • FAIRS, “Love One, Teach One” and Rotary Club of Floyd are cooperating with the Dominican Rotary toward self-reliance goals of the Kalinago (the preferred name of the indigenous people) Territory. Ways have been identified that we can help the people.  It is FAIRS’ plan to cooperate with key members; we hope that they will monitor certain mutual projects once implemented.  In 2013, FAIRS delegation made a visit, along with Gloria (LOTO) and Hubert Thomas of the Council office of the Kalinago (the name of the indigenous people of Dominica), to select of their villages on the Atlantic side of the island.  They delivered over 120 pairs of shoes for the children, 150 toothbrushes, along with medical supplies and food and clothing items.  They worked with the children there, made visits to families and snapped pictures, which they love to receive of themselves.  On a separate occasion, Joseph Guiste J73JT of nearby Castle Bruce demonstrated ham radio operations for the people of the Kalinago Territory.  The Guiste family is a great help to the Kalinago and to their neighbors at home – FAIRS contributors gifted a sewing machine to Maria Guiste and daughter Goldie as a benefit for them, knowing that the ladies will do some mending for the villagers.
  • FAIRS gives motivational support to community volunteers multiple times each week.
  • Progress in the Agricultural Training Project in Castle Bruce.
  • Regarding the activities of the village of Wotten Waven and the current status of their community building: a new location was provided by the government (we interacted with officials to help toward this result), funds for construction were provided, and a beautiful center with reception/conference area, bathrooms and public-use internet café was dedicated October 9th, 2009.
  • A center for learning and computers for shared use has been opened in the village of Wotten Waven. Children, and even adults, can benefit by use of shared computers for work and learning.  6 computers have been set up for monitored shared use.
  • FAIRS is in continued support of the Wotten Waven Village Improvement Committee, now registered as “Wotten Waven Development Committee (WWDC)”. We are helping toward a proposed “Sulphur River Tour” to citizens and supporters. It is expected to be a unique attraction, perhaps part of a flagship trail project on Dominica, which stands to benefit all of the villagers of Wotten Waven.
  • FAIRS and volunteers have implemented “helps” which offer school supplies, teaching materials, books and more to school-aged children, who can benefit by better education.
  • FAIRS is actively supporting “start up” business and entrepreneurialism based on interest and demand, whereby educated locals may seek to “stay” on the island rather than move to other countries/islands with their skills and resources.
  • FAIRS helped to sponsor goodwill activities for poorer communities as implemented by Hon. Rayburn Blackmoore in 2006. In 2014, a government housing construction project is underway which benefits the people of the Silver Lake community, an area of focus for FAIRS-supported programs.  An iPad was given to the people of the small Dominican village of Bioche as a way to generate funds by a raffle.
  • FAIRS shipped additional radio equipment including a supply of handy talkies, two-way radios, antennas, connectors, coax antenna feed line. Shipped additional training materials and other items.
  • Bangladesh is still looking toward repeater installation; on hold due to political hindrances. FAIRS stands ready to help when permitted.
  • Grenada Amateur Radio Club is now recognized as the body to conduct exams for amateur radio licenses. They have a new website GARC.GD/  These islanders have exercised their own disaster preparedness plan, and equipped their volunteers for the job.  FAIRS has given radio equipment, literature and funds for outreach. Hi-gain antenna and peripheral equipment have been shipped to Grenada.
  • FAIRS gives motivational support to club members on a nearly weekly basis.
  • “Love One, Teach One Foundation” maintains programs which help to feed and tutor many children of impoverished families. FAIRS has given much monetary support, and help with needed items, including furniture, computers, appliances and school supplies.   Gloria Walsh, founder, has set up a program which allows individuals to “sponsor a child”.  LOTO now has a website, and is progressing toward many of their goals.  See photos of program activities at https://www.facebook.com/pages/LOVE-ONE-TEACH-ON-FOUNDATION-INC/118591084826493?sk=photos_stream&tab=photos_albums
  • “Operation Youth Quake” is a shelter/home for abused and neglected youth.  They do a great job there, providing a positive environment and outlook for some in “less than ideal” life situations.  School supplies, clothes and shoes, sporting equipment and hygiene items were donated during the course of the past year.
  • FAIRS has continued support of several worthy projects & individual achievements related to ham radio and charitable outreach:

-Tina Alexander of Lifeline Ministries, who helps with various projects on the island, and serves families with children who have AIDS

-Josanna Lockhart of Castle Bruce, DA, who has finished her education at Caribbean Wesleyan, is married to Orlando Brown and has an infant son named Hesed.  They are fulfilling ministry positions in Antigua.

-Joanna Lockhart of Castle Bruce, DA, now over DAD (Dominicans Against Drugs) and subsidiary children’s programs- support for all programs

-Joan L. and other missionaries and churches with outreach to the same, and other, people groups/communities.  A focus has been toward the Kalinago people in Carib Territory

-Operation Mobilization: mission teams serving individuals and transforming communities.

  • January, 2011-present: FAIRS is assisting the small school in Wotten Waven (small village of about 260 persons where FAIRS stays with Clement J73CPL and Hetty J73HPL Pierre-Louis).  FAIRS purchased supplies – primer, paint, brushes and rollers – to paint the school and give it a new “updated” look. All of the power washing and cleaning was done by FAIRS and friends.  Painting has been completed – beautiful murals on building walls.
  • There is an ongoing effort by the people of Dominica to be producers of organic products/exports. A meeting was organized with the organic farmers on the island and the FAIRS delegation visited their farms – they hope to help with their goals for self-reliance/increased export in some way.
  • August, 2011-present: During a visit to Portsmouth, the second largest town in Dominica on the northwest coast, FAIRS directors met with members of Portsmouth Community Watch Foundation, Inc. This group has been established for the purpose of promoting quality of life in their community.  Part of that effort includes utilizing amateur radio operators for communication and for security.  It is hoped that community citizens will work together to be responsible for things, and not to depend so much on government.
  • Related to Ghana, monies were raised and items donated, including for fresh water available at a nominal price from government. Communities were served in an outstanding fashion, and the message of the Gospel was shared.  Bicycles were provided as a practical form of transport between communities for local missionaries, and a truck for water supply transport was gifted.  Other needed items were furnished for the volunteers in service to these communities.  New cottage industries have been developed to assist working women and families.
  • In Haiti, friends of FAIRS and local church members sponsor children in need of the Haitian villages and have given thousands of dollars of support for the building of churches and schools whereby students are taught and then trained to teach others.

 

2012-2013 Highlights

2012-2013 Highlights

F.A.I.R.S. guiding philosophy over the past year-

  To FOCUS on COMMUNITY and to invite others to BE A PART OF THE GOODWILL!

 

To follow are notes regarding the progress made by FAIRS related to goodwill works via amateur radio during the past year:

 

Progress locally in ’12-’13:

 

 

 

Progress abroad in ’12-’13:

 

  • Encouraged community function of existing DARCI headquarters, where construction has been completed. There is a classroom for communications training, restroom facilities, additional communications capabilities, etc.  This site continues as center of relief activities during disaster, a place for communications training, and a venue for meeting and public service.
  • DARCI club members have been instrumental in providing volunteers and training individuals all over the island in communications, emergency assistance, and community service. The number of licensed volunteers has increased exponentially.   Trained amateur radio operators deploy to neighboring countries in response to the need/disaster.  FAIRS is pleased to be a part of the training these folks have received.
  • Current and former DARCI presidents Clement Pierre-Louis J73CPL and Clem James J73CI continue to be liaisons for working communications in government.
  • FAIRS directors David and Gaynell Larsen, and members Tom King W4VZH, Seth Sjoestrom J79/SM0XBI and friend Tore Sandstrom J79/SM7CBS, George Morriss J79KUB and other members have worked countless hours as volunteers over the last several years to update systems, repair equipment, do installations and training, and provide motivational and monetary support.
  • Communications equipment, supplies and medicines were transported and distributed to many in Dominica. Amateur radio operators/Volunteers from all over the nation have stepped up to help with this.
  • FAIRS presented repeater cards and battery banks needed to maintain the amateur radio communications system island-wide. Clem James J73CI received them on behalf of the club.
  • FAIRS gives motivational support to club members multiple times each week.
  • Reinforced or replaced existing equipment, provided additional power, plus funds for maintenance, services.
  • Monitored the use of supplied radios for new amateur radio enthusiasts and emergency personnel, plus a central Hf station has been put into service to benefit the community.
  • Disaster Management Committee functions largely on its own, with request to FAIRS for equipment and communications training from time to time. They are implementing an “emergency plan”, and have established 10 “safe homes”, or shelters in this hurricane-prone village on the Atlantic. We receive report from Chairperson Hyacinth Thomas regularly.
  • A meeting place has been set up for club use by the Castle Bruce Amateur Radio Club. Facilities have been augmented.
  • Funds continue to go out in order to sustain programs which benefit the fishing village of Castle Bruce, DA and residents of the Kalinago Territory. Gloria Walsh of “Love One, Teach One Foundation” now has focus in the Kalinago Territory as well as in capital city Roseau.
  • FAIRS continues to support Josanna Lockhart Brown of DA (we have a longstanding relationship and have supported cooperative programs for children and elderly (Dominica, Jamaica, and recently Antigua); Joanna Lockhart Alexander of Castle Bruce, DA, now over DAD (Dominicans Against Drugs) and subsidiary children’s programs; Joan Lockhart, overseer of ministries within the village of Castle Bruce & to the Carib Territory (Kalinago).
  • Hyacinth Thomas is a principal related to an additional clinic for the region which services the many needy families in the area, medically.
  • Learning is provided through a new pre-school program (in a renovated facility in the basement of a church in Castle Bruce). Pilgrim Community Preschool received donated playground equipment/swingset, which has been set in place.
  • Portable “free clinic” services (or on “pay what you are able” basis) have been implemented by missions workers – FAIRS obtains medical supplies and funding to support free health checks and treatment. Nurse Germain is an example – she may be found outside of Whitchurch Grocery every day except Tuesday.
  • FAIRS, “Love One, Teach One” and Rotary Club of Floyd are cooperating with the Dominican Rotary toward self-reliance goals of the Kalinago (the preferred name of the indigenous people) Territory. Ways have been identified that we can help the people.  It is FAIRS’ plan to cooperate with key members; we hope that they will monitor certain mutual projects once implemented.  In 2013, FAIRS delegation made a visit, along with Gloria (LOTO) and Hubert Thomas of the Council office of the Kalinago (the name of the indigenous people of Dominica), to select of their villages on the Atlantic side of the island.  They delivered over 120 pairs of shoes for the children, 150 toothbrushes, along with medical supplies and food and clothing items.  They worked with the children there, made visits to families and snapped pictures, which they love to receive of themselves.  On a separate occasion, Joseph Guiste J73JT of nearby Castle Bruce demonstrated ham radio operations for the people of the Kalinago Territory.  The Guiste family is a great help to the Kalinago and to their neighbors at home – FAIRS contributors gifted a sewing machine to Maria Guiste and daughter Goldie as a benefit for them, knowing that the ladies will do some mending for the villagers.
  • FAIRS gives motivational support to community volunteers multiple times each week.
  • Progress in the Agricultural Training Project in Castle Bruce.
  • Regarding the activities of the village of Wotten Waven and the current status of their community building: a new location was provided by the government (we interacted with officials to help toward this result), funds for construction were provided, and a beautiful center with reception/conference area, bathrooms and public-use internet café was dedicated October 9th, 2009.
  • A center for learning and computers for shared use has been opened in the village of Wotten Waven. Children, and even adults, can benefit by use of shared computers for work and learning.  6 computers have been set up for monitored shared use.
  • FAIRS is in continued support of the Wotten Waven Village Improvement Committee, now registered as “Wotten Waven Development Committee (WWDC)”. We are helping toward a proposed “Sulphur River Tour” to citizens and supporters. It is expected to be a unique attraction, perhaps part of a flagship trail project on Dominica, which stands to benefit all of the villagers of Wotten Waven.
  • FAIRS and volunteers have implemented “helps” which offer school supplies, teaching materials, books and more to school-aged children, who can benefit by better education.
  • FAIRS is actively supporting “start up” business and entrepreneurialism based on interest and demand, whereby educated locals may seek to “stay” on the island rather than move to other countries/islands with their skills and resources.
  • FAIRS helped to sponsor goodwill activities for poorer communities as implemented by Hon. Rayburn Blackmoore in 2006.
  • Shipped additional radio equipment including a supply of handy talkies, two-way radios, antennas, connectors, coax antenna feed line. Shipped additional training materials and other items.
  • Bangladesh is still looking toward repeater installation; on hold due to political hindrances. FAIRS stands ready to help when permitted.
  • Grenada Amateur Radio Club is now recognized as the body to conduct exams for amateur radio licenses. They have a new website GARC.GD/  These islanders have exercised their own disaster preparedness plan, and equipped their volunteers for the job.  FAIRS has given radio equipment, literature and funds for outreach. Hi-gain antenna and peripheral equipment have been shipped to Grenada.
  • FAIRS gives motivational support to club members on a nearly weekly basis.
  • “Love One, Teach One Foundation” maintains programs which help to feed and tutor many children of impoverished families. FAIRS has given much monetary support, and help with needed items, including furniture, computers, appliances and school supplies.   Gloria Walsh, founder, has set up a program which allows individuals to “sponsor a child”.  LOTO now has a website, and is progressing toward many of their goals.
  • “Operation Youth Quake” is a shelter/home for abused and neglected youth.  They do a great job there, providing a positive environment and outlook for some in “less than ideal” life situations.  School supplies, clothes and shoes, sporting equipment and hygiene items were donated during the course of the past year.
  • FAIRS has continued support of several worthy projects & individual achievements related to ham radio and charitable outreach:

-Tina Alexander of Lifeline Ministries, who helps with various projects on the island,                         and serves families with children who have AIDS

-Josanna Lockhart of Castle Bruce, DA, who has finished her education at Caribbean                       Wesleyan, is married to Orlando Brown and has a newborn son named Hesed.  They are

pursuing full-time ministry positions in Antigua.

-Joanna Lockhart of Castle Bruce, DA, now over DAD (Dominicans Against Drugs) and                   subsidiary children’s programs- support for all programs

-Joan L. and other missionaries and churches with outreach to the same, and other, people             groups/communities.  A focus has been toward the Kalinago people in Carib Territory

-Operation Mobilization: mission teams serving individuals and transforming                                      communities.

  • January, 2011-present: FAIRS is assisting the small school in Wotten Waven (small village of about 260 persons where FAIRS stays with Clement J73CPL and Hetty J73HPL Pierre-Louis).  FAIRS purchased supplies – primer, paint, brushes and rollers – to paint the school and give it a new “updated” look. All of the power washing and cleaning was done by FAIRS and friends.  Painting was recently completed – beautiful murals on building walls.
  • There is an ongoing effort by the people of Dominica to be producers of organic products/exports. A meeting was organized with the organic farmers on the island and the FAIRS delegation visited their farms – they hope to help with their goals for self-reliance/increased export in some way.
  • August, 2011-present: During a visit to Portsmouth, the second largest town in Dominica on the northwest coast, FAIRS directors met with members of Portsmouth Community Watch Foundation, Inc. This group has been established for the purpose of promoting quality of life in their community.  Part of that effort includes utilizing amateur radio operators for communication and for security.  It is hoped that community citizens will work together to be responsible for things, and not to depend so much on government.
  • Related to Ghana, monies were raised and items donated, including for fresh water available at a nominal price from government. Communities were served in an outstanding fashion, and the message of the Gospel was shared.  Bicycles were provided as a practical form of transport between communities for local missionaries, and a truck for water supply transport was gifted.  Other needed items were furnished for the volunteers in service to these communities.  New cottage industries have been developed to assist working women and families.

 

 

FAIRS Newsletter 2014-15

FAIRS Newsletter 2014-15



Hands-On Projects Help To Hone Skills-

FAIRS Supports Invention, Creativity & Resourcefulness

It is no secret that amateur radio operators are often innovative, experimental and “gadget-lovers” at heart.

FAIRS has taken initiative over the course of recent years to help those with technical interests and    talents to flourish, especially here at home in Floyd, VA.

At FCHS Amateur Radio school Club, elmers are teaching basic electronics to the student members using Radio Shack Basic Electronics Learning Lab Kits.  Partners or small groups work together to follow instructions and complete a series of tasks/circuits to achieve desired results.

By paid intern program         “I CAN! … MY DIRECTED THOUGHT FOR THE FUTURE”, FAIRS has given support to high school, college and post-grad students to help further their education in course work, independent study and/or trips abroad.  FAIRS is pleased to be a part of their success stories.

Bryan Dowd, a student intern and host at N4USA and Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum, is helping to organize projects and work with guests.  He values the stories behind the technology and the inner workings of each piece.

He is assisting FAIRS as they partner with local Jacksonville Center for the Arts to put on a “Maker” Camp this summer.  Attendees will be shown how to incorporate simple electronics in some of their art pieces.   According to Bryan, “Many youth know very well how to operate modern day electronic devices, but have no idea how they work or what makes them work.  This camp will impart knowledge about  some simple wiring and circuits and will be a part of finished creations campers will take home and enjoy. During the camp they will also experience the interesting world of amateur radio. Many of our volunteers are licensed operators and will gladly demonstrate radio communications”.  Keep up with FAIRS on Facebook for more information on upcoming activities.

 

Scout Clubs Visit N4USA to Experience      Amateur Radio, Earn Merit Badges

FAIRS and local hams host several special events each year with the goal of reaching young people through amateur radio.

In early summer 2014, ARRL Kid’s Day was held at Chantilly Farm (2697 Franklin Pike SE, Floyd).  Youth and their families were invited to  visit the station and talk to each other nationwide on amateur radio.

In October, the annual “Jamboree on the Air” or JOTA brought Scouts and Girl Scouts to enjoy the outdoors, camp on farm grounds and meet people from all over the world over the airwaves. Adult leader Don Barker encouraged the kids and provided   photo (left).

Director David Larsen and members of Floyd Amateur Radio Society have demonstrated amateur  radio and provided training using call sign N4USA.  Several troops/packs have visited Floyd Community Amateur Radio Station and the museum in Floyd.

Plenty! Has a New Location—

FAIRS Helps Support the Community

FAIRS is a long-time supporter of the Plenty! group whose    mission is to nourish community and feed hungry neighbors by growing and sharing food in Floyd County.   Director Gaynell Larsen donated several turkey casseroles and baked vegetable dishes for distribution at Thanksgiving, and FAIRS has helped to support Plenty! in their new facilities at 192 Elephant Curve , Floyd, VA 24091.  Plenty! delivers fresh/food bank foods, and  creates school and community gardens.  Director David Larsen supplied video coverage of a special community event on December 16th, 2014 which thanked local supporters and celebrated the gift of a new FREE tractor to Plenty! by Yanmar Tractors and Kelli and John Higgs of T&E Small Engines.

Now, Jonathan Vandergrift, manager of Plenty! Farm, is working with the Virginia Tech chapter of  Habitat for Humanity to build wings onto a log barn to house equipment.  FAIRS directors have committed to gift a discer for use by the group, and David has delivered it in time for spring 2015 farm use.

FAIRS is Linking Arms w/ Hams of Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Club (VTARA)

Beginning in May, 2014, FAIRS began a relationship with Nathaniel Frissell W2NAF and members of the Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Association, VTARA, when they made a visit to Floyd:  … in part to Tour the Computer History Museum (http://bugbookmuseum.blogspot.com/, run by Dave, KK4WW) and to visit the N4USA Amateur Radio Station… Russ Abbey, KG4MAV, of FARS helped to arrange and host and he deserves a special thanks for his ongoing commitment to outreach through amateur radio!

Regular communication is ongoing with members from the Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Association (VTARA).  They have cooperated toward various projects and have made themselves available to help with Scout gatherings, assisting individuals in making amateur radio contacts.

Frissell has also been a great contributor to efforts at the museum.  He is a great energy for amateur radio.  We wish him well in his future pursuits!

 

 

 

 

 
    

  
  
  

Sharing the Word of Amateur Radio

Sharing the Word of Amateur Radio

The Floyd Community Amateur Radio Station Foundation (hosted by FAIRS) and the Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum share a location at Floyd Village Green, Suite 4.  It is their goal to inform the public about specific technologies and their uses. On Monday March 30, 2015 a unique set of visitors came who want to share with others what the place is all about.

It is planned that the spring 2015 edition of the Virginia Tech College of Business Magazine will feature an article about Professor Terry Rakes; he will share about his interest in historical technological equipment. He is well familiar with several of the items at the museum, and the pictures that are set to accompany the article will be of some of the microcomputers on display.

Professor Rakes was accompanied by the Senior University Photographer from Virginia Tech, Logan Wallace. Logan wanted to know more about the amateur radio station and related equipment, which is for use by licensed operators and for viewing by the public.  The station uses amateur radio call sign N4USA, a popular call that folks want to connect with. Her interest gave museum curator and FAIRS Director David Larsen the opportunity to share with her how amateur radio works, and the importance of that type of communication.

As word gets out about these important stops in Floyd, more and more visitors come to see valuable history and technology and the culture as it is preserved.  Please stop by when you are in town – it is always a great day in Floyd!

Dominica 2015

Dominica 2015

Each year, FAIRS directors David and Gaynell Larsen travel to the small island country of Dominica in the Eastern Caribbean. This year, they traveled with their granddaughter Jacqueline, and she had the opportunity to gain a new perspective of the world. The purpose of their visit was to encourage program leaders supported by FAIRS (Foundation for Amateur Intl. Radio Service, Ltd.), to visit foreign friends and to try to make a difference in the lives of others.

Throughout the year, FAIRS works to gather items that we take for granted such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shoes, reading glasses, jewelry, band aids, diabetic supplies, and many other things which they deliver to those who have need in Dominica. FAIRS members also provide support to specific families they have met personally, heard about through project reports and past missions, or who they know need assistance. David and Gaynell take such items to these families: clothing, necessities and even a laptop computer.

Gloria Walsh is director of the Love One Teach One (LOTO) Foundation which benefits school-aged students in the capital city of Roseau. FAIRS has supported the foundation in a variety of ways. To show appreciation, a welcome party was thrown for the group as they arrived by LOTO students and leaders, held at the local Botanical Garden. The party was a great opportunity for David and Gaynell to meet the students which are supported by FAIRS and its members. FAIRS provided funds for a weekend youth camp for students involved in LOTO programs. Though students in the United States have the opportunity to go on field trips for travel and education while in school, Dominican students often do not have such opportunities, and transportation is an issue.  There was much cooperation to put on the camp, and the FAIRS group was happy to pay a visit to the attendees.  The focus of the camp was on leadership, self-esteem, abstinence, relationships and building family.   The theme was “Strengthening Minds for a Better Tomorrow.” Students were invited to take part in many games and activities throughout the weekend.

FAIRS has been working alongside citizens of the village of Bioche toward the construction a community building. The construction is now complete, and regular meetings are held there which the townspeople attend. These meetings are helpful for the community to have a voice and citizens can have a say about what happens within the village. Plans are in the works for a summer reunion. The goal of the reunion is to get people who used to live in the village to come home, visit, and see the progress that has been made.

In the small mountain village of Wotten Waven, FAIRS helps the Wotten Waven Primary School with maintenance and school supplies.  Jacqueline was excited to meet with students and to see how school is for them.

David worked with the amateur radio operators on the island and completed routine repair on critical amateur radio equipment. These repairs help keep communication over the airwaves at the best quality that it can be. David provided training for proper use of the equipment. FAIRS helps to sustain their communications infrastructure by repairing or replacing equipment as needed and helping or funding toward repairs. The goal of this work is to ensure quality communications, and to help those who have an interest in operating amateur radio to have the opportunity to take part in it.

A current project which is in need of support is for the benefit of indigenous people of Dominica in the Kalinago Territory.  Specific families and communities have need of the most basic items as clean water and a weather-protected place to sleep.  Education toward health and family planning are also priorities.  It is the hope of FAIRS director Gaynell Larsen to fulfill some of these needs as she and David continue to direct the Foundation’s mission to advance global goodwill through amateur radio.

 

Dominica 2015
FAIRS Named as New River Valley Featured Non-Profit
FAIRS Member Receives Award for Outstanding Work

FAIRS Member Receives Award for Outstanding Work

Victor Goncharsky US5WE recently received the DXCC 2000 Challenge award. This is an award presented to an amateur radio operator for establishing contact with more than 2000 DXCC Band countries. Victors wife, Helen Goncharsky UR5WA (or her U.S. call sign KT4RP), just qualified to receive the same award! When an operator completes what is necessary for this challenge, they are able to obtain a beautiful plaque congratulating them on their outstanding work with amateur radio. We’re very grateful to have these two as FAIRS members, knowing they are reaching out to others through the use of amateur radio. Congratulations!