THANKS for great hamfest

Thanks to so many for a great hamfest!! We had around 100 people throughout the day!! There was a BBQ from meat donated by Mr. Prime Beef, arranged and transported by TJ Morgan, KL3IT, and cooked by Dick Eastman, KL3TNT and his friend Jim Ruby, who brought his own grill. He is studying to be a ham. Plus lots of variety in the side dishes provided by attendees!!

Conditions were right for three satellite transmissions by Craig Bledsoe, KL4E!! There were also presentations and information provided by Craig, Dan O’Barr, KL7DR, Dale Hershberger, KL7XJ, John Lynn, KL7CY, and Mike O’Keefe, KL7MD. Dan would have had drone demonstrations but it was too windy.

It was great seeing everyone who made it!! We were able to surprise Richard Plack, KL7DY, with a token of our appreciation for his decades of service!! Thank you, Trish for helping get him to show up!!! He cut the gorgeous cake provided by Verda’s that showed the original MARA logo and the current one, along with MARA spelled in CW.

George Strother, KL7GS, was the lead VE for the license exam provided. His team of VEs consisted of Kathleen O’Keefe, KL7KO, Jim Wardman, AL4W, and Ken Hudson, KL2HF. Two people passed the technician exam and now have a couple new hams.

There were more than 30 door prizes worth varying amounts that were donated by several MARA club members and numerous businesses in the Valley, Eagle River, and Anchorage and these were gathered mostly by Betty Carrington, KL1XL and Don Bush, KL7JFT, with Mark Allen, KL4EC, and Tabitha Sherman, KL4FZ, Carol Bush, KL2FA, among many others. We gave multiple prizes out three times during the day. We also had a split the pot drawing and Wayne Groomer, KL7HHO won.

In our Country Store, there items for sale to include t-shirts and patches provided by Silvertip Design and decals supplied by Silvertip Signs!

I truly appreciate the willing teamwork I saw by several who showed up starting at 7:30am to help with getting everything set up, also helping others with carrying in their wares from their vehicles, the happy camaraderie throughout the day, the great deals, the wealth of information being shared, even fun times at the kids’ activity table with John Mears, AL7LA, and at the end of the day, the magnificent cleanup effort!!! We have a great ham radio family indeed!!

MARA, along with ARES, was paid great compliments by Jim Pace, K7CEX, the ARRL regional manager from Washington State, that attended and collaborated with Ray Hollenbeck, KL1IL, Alaska ARRL representative, on a presentation, and we were also complimented by the previous manager, Jim Larson, AL7FS, and he joined MARA while at the hamfest!!!

Pat yourselves on the backs!!! You all did a great job!!!

Pictures of the hamfest can be found on our Facebook page, MARA CLUB (KL7JFU).


Shelia Olson, KL3TP, MARA President

Ham Fest 2017 on May 6


Boy and Girls Club, 3700 E Bogard Road, Wasilla, AK

May 6, 10-4

Table rental for displays or selling items $10
Admission at the door is $3
BBQ costs a donation of at least $5
Door prize ticket $3, MUST be present to win
50/50 Raffle tickets $5 each or five for $20, need NOT be present to win

Country Store items
T-shirts $15 members, $20 nonmembers
Club membership $24
Logo decals and patches $5
Ham radio cartoon CDs $15
Coffee mugs to order $18
If you don’t have enough for a table we’ll sell them for you during the Hamfest for 10% commission, which goes to the club. You can drop off items or pictures of large or heavy items to be sold at the Country Store tables. Contact Don, for additional details
The schedule of events
7:30-9:30 Setup
9:30 Satellite demonstration
10:00 Hamfest begins
10:30 prize drawing
11:00 Jim Pace & Ray Hollenbeck ARRL presentations
11:00ish BBQ begins
11:15 Satellite demonstration
12:30 prize drawing
12:55 Satellite demonstration
2:00 Licensing Exam, free club membership for passing techs
3:30 split the pot drawing
4:00-6:00 Cleanup
If you have not already done so, please contact Betty at, if you will need a table, so she can make sure there are enough.

Please bring folding/lawn chairs. Also any canopies you have available would be greatly appreciated!!!

BBQ will have hotdogs and cheeseburgers provided. Bring a side dish to share.

There will be a table with beginner electronics activities for kids taught by John Mears, former UAA electronics professor

There will also be three satellite communications demonstrations, a Licensing Exam, and presentations from our local and regional ARRL representatives.

See you there!!!!

Shelia, KL3TP, MARA President & Mark, KL3TO, First Dude