October 2019 President’s Notes – The Value of Membership

by Kyle Krieg (AAØZ)
President, SLSRC

As we start the 2020 SLSRC membership drive, I’d like to remind everybody what your membership means to the club, what we are able to accomplish with your membership and how you can get the most out of the club in 2020.

If you decide to join the SLSRC, thank you.  Your club membership allows us to accomplish everything from buying postage stamps to maintaining the club repeaters during the calendar year and beyond!  There was probably some heartache about raising the dues to $30 for the year as the board brought the decision to the membership for a vote during the September meeting.  There was discussion before the vote and ultimately the motion to raise the yearly rate to $30 passed. Alan (KD9DXH) membership chair, crunched the numbers with Vern (AEØTT) and calculated with the current $25 a year membership fee, the club would not be able to sustain a minimal budget for the general club activities for the year.  The question was also raised about the large dollar amount in the club treasury. The club is self insured for all the assets the club owns. This includes each repeater system and club owned equipment we use for Field Day and other events during the year. If a repeater system was destroyed, it would cost around $15,000 to rebuild to the current standards we have today. The board and I thank you for deciding to become a club member or renewing for 2020 so we can maintain our club assets, host monthly events to help promote Amateur Radio and make this a fun hobby for you and your family.

During the year the club hosts multiple events that you should take advantage of as a club member.  The last weekend in January we host Winterfest, the largest hamfest in the Midwest. This year we have expanded to a 2 day event with lots of activities during the weekend including an DX/ARRL banquet and Radio Symposium on Friday and Contest College along with the hamfest and Education Alley on Saturday.  Click here to learn more about the weekend activities for Winterfest. The club hosts Field Day on the 4th full weekend in June and provides dinner for all attendees.  This event is an excellent way to get on the air, ask a mentor about Amateur Radio and try out other radios you might not have access to.  During the summer months, the club schedules Mentoring Sessions the first Friday during the month for those new to the hobby.  Have a question about radio, an antenna or operating practices?  Ask it here! Mentors are on site to help facilitate questions. We also hold Back to Basics classes for 6 months starting in October.  We cover everything from buying your first VHF radio to HF operating and beyond! Back to Basics is held the first Friday of the month starting in October and running through March.  Back to Basics info can be found here! In December the club holds our annual holiday dinner to thank the membership for all the hard work and volunteering during the year.  With your membership, the club subsidizes a portion of the meal cost for those attending. This year’s holiday dinner will be held at MoBAP on December 13th.  You can order tickets here.  The board also tries to schedule at least one activity during each month outside of the general club membership meetings, Back to Basics/Mentoring Workshops and weekly nets held on Tuesday nights for membership participation.  Earlier in the year we partnered with Arch Reactor, a local Makerspace, for a “Learn to Solder” class. We’ve helped with coordinating a satellite Field Day in September and hosted other misc events throughout the year. While we’ve had a successful year, we want to build upon that in 2020 and host even more events for the membership!

By becoming a member of the SLSRC, it allows you to participate and take an active role in your membership.  How? Volunteer! Help steer the board on events you would like to see. Make your opinion known. We are always looking for more help to host more events, gather ideas on new opportunities and just be involved in the club.  If you want to get more out of the club, let a board member know that you are willing to help out. Let us know your strengths. Are you a graphic artist or know your way around Photoshop or maybe video editing, we could use you!  Do you have experience in leading a team, we can use you for Winterfest or to coordinate events. Do you like to operate portable and can teach station setup in a park? Let us know! Even if you don’t have experience and want to learn, we can pair you up with someone to help build those skills!  The sky’s the limit. What you put into your membership is what you get out of it. Take advantage of it as there is plenty to take in!

Again, thank you for becoming a member of the SLSRC for 2020.  We have lots of exciting activities planned next year!