Amateur Radio enthusiasts recently participated in the annual Van Wert Hamfest. (Photos submitted)
Amateur Radio enthusiasts recently participated in the annual Van Wert Hamfest. (Photos submitted)

VAN WERT COUNTY — The annual Van Wert Hamfest was held at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds on Sunday.

The event, sponsored by the Van Wert Amateur Radio Club, is a fundraiser for the local group of “ham” radio enthusiasts which features flea markets of radio, electronics, computer and other items plus door prizes for participants.

The local radio club is also celebrating its 70th year of existence. The Van Wert Amateur Radio Club was first formed in 1952 as an effort to educate the public on the benefits of ham radio and also to defend against unfair claims of interference that was leveled against ham operations at that time. The local hams worked with the public to find the root cause of interference and eliminate it so they could continue to enjoy their hobby.

The club kept meeting after that, and is best known for their public service communications that include weather spotting, cross country meets, parades and emergency drills. The radio club works closely with the Van Wert County Emergency Management Agency, using their personal radio equipment for emergency communications. The club is also active in helping prospective hams earn their ham license and administer the license exams.

The next event for the club will be their booth at the Van Wert County Fair. For more information on the Van Wert Amateur Radio Club, visit their website at w8fy.org or their Facebook page.