Grant: Showcasing Amateur Radio in the 21st Century to thousands at the Eastern States Exposition (Big E)

Date: April 2023
Amount: $8,300

Hampden County Radio Association (HCRA) is an ARRL-affiliated amateur radio club located in the Springfield, MA metro area. HCRA is the coordinator of Project Big E, whose mission is to demonstrate the hobby of amateur radio at the Eastern States Exposition (The Big E), the largest multi-state fair on the east coast. In 2022, Project Big E succeeded in this goal, as for the first time in nearly 20 years, amateur radio was showcased at The Big E. Building on the success of 2022, Project Big E has been granted the same booth for the 2023 fair and is working on a strategy to improve visitor engagement at the booth and to also provide post-event follow-ups, with information on local clubs, training, and other support to help guide interested persons into the amateur radio hobby.

This grant will provide funding for Project Big E to train their booth volunteers on showcasing and marketing the amateur radio hobby to the general public; dispelling myths and misinformation about the hobby; and to reconnect amateur radio operators throughout New England. Project Big E plans to accomplish this training sessions on Zoom and reusing as much of their materials and equipment from the previous year’s booth as possible while updating necessary display materials, signage, and posters, all with the end goal of getting more of their community on the air!

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