A note from the (Rochester) RARA RAG Newsletter March 2014:
2014 RARA HAMFEST TAKES A HIATUS
The RARA Board of Directors has deliberated for the last couple of months the feasibility of putting together a workable
plan to have our annual hamfest in 2014. This task is not a simple one, by any means. It takes many volunteers to roll up
their sleeves and take on the responsibilities of organizing, planning, and executing a host of tasks that need to happen in
a timely fashion. This by far is our biggest challenge. We have struggled in getting enough capable volunteers in the past.
Without volunteers, it just can’t happen. Venues are becoming hard to find and more and more expensive. Dates are not
always easy to find in May and June due to graduations, weddings, shows, etc., as well as these months being vacation
months. It is becoming very difficult to attract vendors to come to hamfests due to the intense competition posed by the 1-
800 telephone numbers, and then there is the internet. It is a fact that most gear is now bought on line, where there is
usually no sales tax and many companies offer free shipping as well. This makes it very difficult to compete locally.
Food service is not always readily available. Parking and traffic control present significant challenges, especially when
spaces are needed for flea marketing. Indoor facilities are sought after by potential vendors. Costs must be controlled.
Marketing and ticket sales are critical functions that need to be handled effectively, etc.
You can see that this is a huge undertaking, with so many factors to be considered. Reviewing where we are currently,
along with the challenges that we still face for a 2014 hamfest, the Board of Directors has voted to postpone our next
hamfest until 2015. The Board has committed to begin planning the 2015 hamfest NOW, allowing sufficient time to create
an outstanding event.
This decision did not come easy. The hamfest is a major financial source of income to RARA, and revenues lost by not
having a hamfest are significant. We also know how our membership looks forward to this event, and we know that there
will be some disappointment about this decision. Hopefully though, this may encourage others to get involved so that the
2015 hamfest will be highly successful and one of the best that RARA has put on. A handful of volunteers cannot do it all,
it is simply too daunting a task to accomplish with insufficient manpower. If we are to have future hamfests, then we need
more folks to get involved in putting it together. If you are interested in being on the committee for the 2015 hamfest,
please email me at WB2GHC@ARRL.NET or contact any Board of Directors member.
Along with the entire Board of Directors, I would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Charlie Escriva, KB2SOZ, for all of
the effort that he has put into working on this year’s hamfest. He spent a considerable amount of his time visiting,
reviewing, and evaluating potential venues for this event. His efforts have not been in vain however, for we now have
venues that are possibilities for our 2015 event. Thank you Charlie, your efforts are much appreciated by all of us.
What happens in 2015 depends on you, please, get involved!
Bill Marinucci, WB2GHC – RARA President