On Oct. 29, 1934, a group of radio amateurs met in the shack of Howard Crawford, W9FGX and unanimously voted to form a club. They decided on the name THE WAUSAU RADIO OPERATORS CLUB and the following officers were elected: Pres. Howard Crawford,W9FGX; Vice Pres. John Schneider W9CFT; Sec. H. Dernbach, W9LWX; Treas. Elwyn Dunst,W9FEO; Activities Mgr. Henry Bauch, W9FHU. It might also be noted that one of the charter members and QRM committee member was Carroll Miller, W9SM.
Original Articles of Incorporation were filed March 29, 1939 under the name Wisconsin Valley Radio Association. Article I: “The business and purpose of such corporation shall be: To unite, to secure the pleasure and benefits of amateur radio, by furthering better co-operation in the interest of radio, to promote a true amateur spirit in Central Wisconsin. To at all times work in harmony with and give our full support to the Federal Communications Commission and the American Radio Relay League.”
The club has had a long history of assisting with communications for a variety of events. Besides the more familiar current events, records indicate the WVRA was instrumental during the Wausau Soap Box Derby, the Marathon Co. Fair and in providing area election results in the Fall. For example in 1964, the Election Night NET consisted of 11 ops at the command post, 6 ops at WSAU TV and 56 in outlying areas. Results from 558 precincts were covered. Bands used included 2m and 10m.
Today the Wisconsin Valley Radio Association, as an ARRL Special Service Club, is very visible in the community through various activities.
Dream Flight Wausau, is a program for which we provided communications training and support to 150, 5th grade students of the Wausau School District with voice communications, packet and Amateur TV. We also insure proper setup and support of the 14 elementary school packet and voice radio systems.
Badger State Winter Games and Wisconsin Special Olympic Winter Games are two events where Health and Welfare traffic is passed from Hams out on the Cross Country Ski course to Net Control assuring all competitors are accounted for. These events are held every year at Nine Mile County Forest in the town of Rib Mountain.
The Fat Tire / Flat Foot Biathlon held at the Nine Mile Recreation area in July is another fun event in which local hams get a chance to sharpen their communication skills by providing a service to the community.
The WVRA conducts educational instruction to area residents for the Technician Class license.A weekly swap net is held on the 147.135 VHF repeater giving local hams the opportunity to share ideas about the hobby and to find just the right deal on ham or related equipment. Another net on the 444.100 UHF repeater is styled in a general discussion/round table format to also help share ideas about amateur radio as well as spending time on the air together.
These are just a few of the many activities in which the members of the club participate. We are always looking for new members and new opportunities for our services.