From its beginnings in 1952 at the Biltmore Hotel in Dayton, the Dayton Hamvention has grown into one of the two largest gatherings of amateur radio operators in the world.
In 1964, the event’s popularity and attendance prompted him to leave downtown Dayton to seek larger facilities at the HARA Arena in nearby Trotwood where there would be ample vendor display area. and would allow the electronic flea market area to develop.
In 2016, up to 32,000 people from around the world attended the three-day event, forcing the event’s sponsor, the Dayton Amateur Radio Association, to move the show to the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia , where larger facilities were available to allow for even more growth.
Since its inception, the Hamvention Awards program has honored many enthusiasts and clubs for their dedication and selfless contributions to service/hobby, to their communities and to humanity. Since Hamvention is the largest gathering of amateur radio operators in North America, these awards are considered by many to be the “Academy Awards” of amateur radio.
In addition to awards for technical achievement, one award given is “Hamvention Club of the Year”. This award is given to a club that “clearly demonstrates its involvement in various aspects of amateur radio for the greater good of its community and/or the nation”.
Basically, being named Club of the Year marks that club as the most outstanding in North America, and possibly the world.
The winner of the 2022 Dayton Hamvention Club of the Year was the Highland Amateur Radio Association of Highland County.
Accepting the award at the awards ceremony, club president Pat Hagen said it was the first time the award had been presented to a club serving a small, populated, rural, Appalachian region of the country that is “in the middle of nowhere”.
HARA members present also included Vice President Tom Mongold, Jr.; Secretary Kathy Levo and past club presidents Lee Bishop and Bob McFarland. John Levo, who recently received the Phil McGan Silver Antenna Award from the American Radio Relay League for his promotion of amateur radio, was also recognized.
The Highland Amateur Radio Association was founded in 1977 as an organization to promote amateur radio in the Highland County area. Since those beginnings, it has grown from 22 founding members to over 130. Most of these members live in Highland County.
Information about Hamvention can be found at www.hamvention.org. Those interested in learning more about the local club can visit the club’s Facebook page, email [email protected] or contact club information officer John Levo at (937) 393-4951 .