ARRL Donors Gather in Dayton
More than 100 ARRL donors gathered to mix and mingle at the ARRL's Eighth Annual Donor Reception on Thursday, May 14, just prior to the 2009 ARRL National Convention and Dayton Hamvention. Hosted by the ARRL as a way to thank those who donated $1000 or more to the League in 2008, the reception -- held at the Meadowbrook Country Club -- featured a sumptuous buffet and a speech by new IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA.
"It is always great fun to see many of our good friends at the Annual Donor Reception," said ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH. "I have a chance to catch up with the wonderful group of people share our dedication to ARRL and Amateur Radio. In the eight years that we've been holding this event, its popularity grows and we get to meet new donors, and in some cases, their spouses and children. We look forward to hosting this evening and having an opportunity to thank key donors in person for all they do to support ARRL."
One of the highlights of the evening included the introduction of three new members of the ARRL's Maxim Society: Frank Donovan, W3LPL, of Glenwood, Maryland; Tom Hutton, N3ZZ, of Cupertino, California, and Tom Porter, W8KYZ, of Avon Lake, Ohio. With the addition of these three amateurs, there are now 61 members of the Maxim Society. Maxim Society donors are those amateurs whose lifetime giving exceeds $10,000.
This elite group embodies the spirit of ARRL co-founder Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW, who, in 1914, envisioned an organization dedicated to encouraging and developing Amateur Radio as a source of enjoyment for radio operators and as a public service to communities nationwide. Maxim Society donors nurture the legacy and leadership exhibited by "The Old Man" so many years ago. Their infectious enthusiasm and deep commitment to Amateur Radio and ARRL are evidence of their abiding loyalty. Their willingness to contribute generously to the work of ARRL is evidence of a remarkable dedication to the vision of Hiram Percy Maxim.
After a welcome from ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, introduced Ellam, whose remarks focused on the impact that the ARRL had on his introduction to Amateur Radio as a young man in Canada, telling the story of how the ARRL Handbook played a pivotal role in his effort to secure his first Amateur Radio license in 1976.
"One of the textbooks for the Amateur Radio class run by my local club was the 1976 version of the ARRL Handbook," Ellam told the group. "The club also paid for associate membership in the ARRL, Canadian Division, which had the benefit of allowing students to receive QST. When it came time to write my exam, I decided to be a rebel. Rather than using all of the approved schematics to memorize and draw for the exam, I made one change: I drew a simple key klix filter that I had memorized from the ARRL Handbook.
"Weeks later, my exam results came in the mail. I had failed. The Canadian government decided the ARRL version of the key klix filter would not work north of the border and gave me a zero. This meant I failed the entire test, with no possibility of retaking it for several months. My hopes of becoming an amateur were crushed. So off to the local office of the Department of Communications I marched, with my trusty ARRL Handbook under my arm. After a spirited debate, the person manning the desk at the office allowed me to speak to an examiner and review my results with him. He argued I had failed to draw a correct key klix filter. I showed him the one in the ARRL Handbook. He refused to accept it! I pushed the issue. We went to see the district director, who was an amateur. He took one look at the schematic and said, "This is from the ARRL Handbook -- it must be right!" and overruled the inspector and passed me on the spot.
"I was so impressed by the power of the Handbook that I have maintained my ARRL membership to this day. By doing that, I of course received QST and through that, I became aware of the work of the ARRL and IARU."
Ellam said that it was "an honor to speak at the ARRL Donor Reception in front of so many supporters of ARRL and the Amateur Service. The IARU appreciates the support of the ARRL as the International Secretariat."
For more information on giving opportunities, please visit the ARRL Development Office Web site.