The Lufkin DETARC Swapfest officially ended Saturday, June 30 with the drawing for our grand prize, the IC-V8 handy-talkie. Congratulations to Mike Wuench, N5MOK our grand prize winner. His radio has been mailed to him.
The location for the Swapfest and all the support and facilities provided by Denman Avenue Baptist Church were excellent. Many compliments were received regarding the ease of locating and driving to the Church and many more complemented the facilities. On behalf of the DETARC membership and everyone that participated and attended the Swapfest, I want to thank Denman Avenue Baptist Church for their interest and generosity. Their support of Amateur Radio in our community is exemplary.
Special thanks go to the Nacogdoches Amateur Radio Club and to their VE Testing team for the license testing they provided at this event. Their ongoing and outstanding efforts have been instrumental in the growth of new Amateur Radio Operators running around in our East Texas Piney Woods and communities. Saturday, their testing produced 4 additional General Class Amateur Radio Operators. These new Generals are warmly welcomed into our growing numbers of HFer’s.
Twelve members of the Lufkin DETARC volunteered and participated Saturday to make our first ever Swapfest a grand success. These folks did everything and did it right. They (the Swapfest Team) directed traffic, set up and took down tables and chairs, made signs, put signs up and took them down, ran errands, prepared and served food, set up and cleaned up the kitchen, sold raffle tickets, collected money, collected registration cards, emptied trash cans, swept floors, and even monitored the restrooms to make sure toilet paper was always available. I guess this last item was a “gal” thing. ) Observing these folks go about their various assigned tasks, noticing the congeniality with which they interacted and their willingness to go beyond assigned duties in order to help others was a beautiful testimonial for DETARC and Amateur Radio. Without them, this event could not and would not have taken place.
All 12 deserve individual recognition but I must single out Teresa O’Dell, KE5HNZ. She volunteered the first night the Swapfest was announced. She volunteered to plan, organize and supervise all aspects of food/refreshment offered at Swapfest. She also made arrangements for our raffle ticket “barrel”. Everyone attending Swapfest observed the excellence of her endeavors.
Ninety folks “officially” registered at DETARC Swapfest. Ten tailgate vendors set up in the parking lot and 25 tables were used by inside vendors. The unofficial estimate of the total number of folks attending is 150 since many shopping the tailgate area did not register. Everybody had a good time, plenty to eat if you liked hotdogs, had the opportunity to speak “Ham-ese”and swap junk for treasure, while several renewed lost acquaintances. If this Swapfest fell short of your expectations, a friend of mine, John Harrington, W5EME, has a neat saying that keeps all Swapfest/Hamfest activities in proper perspective. “The worst Hamfest I ever attended was wonderful!”
None of the Swapfest Team had ever been involved with setting up such an event so we could only conjecture on what was going to happen. We were delighted with the results.
Some folks attending Swapfest felt strongly enough about their experience that they not only expressed their feelings but sent an Email. Several even made suggestions for improvement. All were positive and helpful. Here are some of them.
“I enjoyed the swapfest and sold three to four items (that made it very worthwhile). I also bought some others.”
“I would like to encourage you to continue next year. I think the clubs in the area will give more support. I know that I will encourage our club in Palestine to turn out. It would be great to see all the tables full. I also appreciated the food offered.”
“We were happy to participate. The drive was about 250 miles round trip. It is always good for us when we are able to show our Products.”
“Your time fit our schedule very well. We will be at Texas City next.”
“Your team did a good job.”
“I think next year, with more advance word, [Lufkin DETARC Swapfest] will be put it on everyone’s calendar.”
“I would highly suggest a flyer that could be passed out to participants at each of the ham shows between now and [your next Swapfest]. That will pay off good for you.”
“We drove in from Houston this morning and sold everything we brought by 9 AM. We will be back next year.”
“I broke even with sales and the cost of the trip. For me, that’s good. Shouldn’t you call this event a hamfest instead of a swapfest?”
“Our group ate 7 hotdogs and none of us had heartburn later! Hope you use the same brand next year.”
Next year? Well, we have a good start, an excellent location, and the “people power” to Get-R-Done again!