Reaching out to a community in need is nothing new for the Owensboro Amateur Radio Club.

Whether it’s emergency communications when all else fails or an annual donation to the Goodfellows Club of Owensboro, the group of men and women, who affectionately call themselves hams, say they want to give back to the Owensboro region as much as they enjoy living in it.

“We like to help out wherever and whenever we can,” said club President Jeff Horton. “Sometimes that’s a gift to the Goodfellows, sometimes it’s controlling traffic for the Christmas Parade and then other times, hams are dispatched to places all over the world in times of disaster.”

Amateur radio operators use the remaining civil broadcast channels that are not already taken up by business, government or citizens band (CB) radio. Those bands — and there are a lot of them — require a Federal Communications Commission license to operate and differ from simple CB radio in the amount of power they can use. 

With the help of clear weather, club members say it’s possible to communicate with other amateurs in Russia with just 100 watts, but ham radio operators are licensed to use up to 1,500 watts. The right equipment and a reliable power source means hams can easily communicate with each other anywhere on the globe.

On a good day, it’s a neat trick or a fun hobby, but when disaster strikes — say a hurricane in Puerto Rico that cuts off power to the entire island, or even a western Kentucky ice storm in 2009 — emergency management agencies often turn to the hams for help. With so much equipment on backlog and so much operating power with which to use it, first responders can still save lives or mitigate further harm by partnering with the private, amateur sector.

Horton said there are so many hobbyists who are willing to heed the call to help when its sounded.

This month, for the local club, that call to action came in the form of a collection plate passed around at the annual Christmas party. Leaders said they collected for Goodfellows because they recognize it is a good cause that has a positive impact on a community that needs the help.

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And every little bit of money can go to help, especially when every dollar buys clothes or other necessities for children in the county who need them.

Sometimes, hams jump into action to communicate when times are toughest.

“Sometimes,” Horton said, “it just takes stepping up and throwing your $5 into the pot.”

You can help, too, by sending donations to Goodfellows Club, Messenger-Inquirer, Box 1480, Owensboro, KY 42302, by bringing contributions to the newspaper office at 1401 Frederica St. or online at goodfellowsclubofowensboro.org/contribute/.

Goodfellows Roll Call, Dec. 20, 2017

Previously reported … $108,692.66

In memory of Ernie and Martine

Davis … $1,000

In memory of Troy and Lucille

Vowels … $1,000

In loving memory of Mary Jeanne and

Pete Dewey, and Nancy and Bill

Hurley … $1,000

Southern Oaks Elementary School

Soup and Jeans days … $350

In memory of Bishop John J. McRaith,

and Rick Kamuf by Ron and Cissy $250

In memory of David Moredock by David

and Jayne Jones $200

In honor of Wednesday Prayer Meeting

Group $200

In memory of Smokey and Theda

Hamlet , and Clarence and Pauline

Galloway $200

To all who serve by the staff from

Famous Bistro $143

Ronald and Helen Howard $100

In memory of Steve Wahler, a good

friend, a decent poker player, and a

real hero by David and Marna $100

Anonymous $100

In honor of George Collignon $100

In memory of Herman and Daisy

O’Bryan, and John and Virginia

Hamilton by Bill, Becky, Katie, and

John O’Bryan $100

In memory of John Whitmer by Bobby

and Cindy Whitmer $100

In memory of Ann Peters by Bobby and

Cindy Whitmer $100

In honor of Peggi Clark, Jean Fruge’,

Evolyn Allen, Gwen Shelton, and

Dot Ford $100

In memory of Agnes Carrico by John,

Morgan, and Sherry $100

SEE RADIO/PAGE B6

In honor of T.J. and Danielle Crume $100

In honor of Barry and Laura Crume $100

In honor of Rich and Mimi Sterling $100

In loving memory of Jay Puckett by

Paul and Charlotte Puckett $100

Anonymous $100

In memory of Ferne and Barney

Barnhart, and Meredith Holman

Howell by Shanna and Brandon,

Mark and Abby, Samantha, Paul,

Holly, John Mark, Job, Ginny Ferne,

and Owen … $50

In memory of the deceased members

of the Berry, Craycroft, Meister, and

Mills families by Rose and John

Meister … $50

Anonymous … $25

Total as of Dec. 20, 2017 … $114,560.66

Correction:

A listing in the Dec. 19 Roll Call

should have read: In honor of the Vita

Vota Sunday School class: Margaret

Walton, Lois More, Jackie Napper,

Sue Brister, Jean Norris, Nina

Murphy, Lena Lovin, June Coons,

Jackie Peveler and Barbara Wells

by Logan Webb … $25

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