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Nominations open for 'Young Ham of the Year' award

Posted: February 3, 2009 6:02 p.m.
Updated: February 3, 2009 6:06 p.m.

If you know a young radio amateur age 18 or younger who has done something very special in the Amateur Radio hobby, or if you know of one who fits this description, now is the time to consider nominating him or her for the 2009 Amateur Radio Newsline Young Ham of the Year Award.

The award is given each year by the Santa Clarita, Calif.-based not-for-profit organization Amateur Radio Newsline, Inc.

The "Young Ham of the Year Award" -- better known by the acronym "YHOTY" -- is presented annually to a licensed Radio Amateur (Ham) who is 18 years of age or younger, is a resident of the 50 United States, Puerto Rico and the Canada provinces, and who has provided outstanding service to the nation, the community or the betterment of the state of the art in communications through the Amateur Radio hobby/service.

All nominations must be received by May 30 of any given calendar year on an official application and accompanied by verification materials. Applications forms are available for a self addressed stamped envelope mailed to the Young Ham of the Year Award c/o Newsline, 28197 Robin Avenue Santa Clarita California 91350. These nominating applications are also available for electronic download or on-line submission from our website at

Here are some of the things you should be thinking about it in a nominee. First off, as noted above, the nominee must be age 18 or younger and a resident of the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico. He or she must hold a valid Amateur service license issued by the United States FCC or Canadian telecommunications regulator Industry Canada.

Also, your nominee should be someone who has done something outstanding as an Amateur Radio operator. Perhaps it was something special he or she did for his community through the Amateur service. Maybe it was some outstanding achievement that led to an improvement in amateur radio in his or her area. Or perhaps he or she was successful in recruiting a lot of new hams. Whatever it was or is, we want to hear about it.

If you're looking at what makes a good candidate, we suggest you do an Internet search using the search argument "Young Ham of the Year Award Winners" and look at the credentials of past award recipients.

Printable nominating forms are available at our website: Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the words: "I2009 YHOTY Nominations Now Open." You can then download the Nomination Form" by simply clicking on the word "HERE." The nomination is in Microsoft Word format.

It is very important that you, as a nominator, fill out the downloadable and printable application as required. If you're sending it by way of the regular mail, please make sure it reaches us at Amateur Radio Newsline, 28197 Robin Ave., Saugus CA. 91350 by May 30 2009. That's the deadline for all applications. Or you can scan and e-mail the nomination at Please be certain to use a common format that can be opened by those with both PC and Mac computers.

In addition to the completed nominating form, we need as much documentation as you can give us so the committee can carefully evaluate each nominee. When we say documentation, we are talking about letters, e-mails, magazine articles, videos and other kinds of endorsements that would accompany the application. In the past, we've even had photos e-mailed in with some of the applications. Please be aware that any materials sent to us become the property of Amateur Radio Newsline, Inc. and cannot be returned. As such we advise to send copies only rather than original documentation.

As in years past, the 2009 Young Ham of the Year will likely receive an expense paid trip to the Huntsville Hamfest in Alabama and a gift of Amateur Radio gear compliments of Vertex-Standard Corporation. Those are the folks who manufacture the famed Yaesu line of ham radio gear.

From our other primary corporate sponsor -- CQ Magazine -- the winner gets a week at Spacecamp Huntsville, where he or she can learn first-hand about man's conquest of the final frontier.

But none of this can happen without you. Now is the time to get on line, go to to download a nominating form, print it and send it in. That way, you and some worthy young ham radio operator will be glad that you did.

The Young Ham of the Year Award program was created in 1986 by Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) and is sponsored by the Amateur Radio Newsline, Inc.. Better known as "ARNewsline" it is the world's largest not for profit (501(c)(3), all-volunteer and totally independent ham radio broadcast news and data information service. It was organized in 1976 as the Westlink Radio Network by Jim Hendershot (WA6VQP) and Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF). Since that time it has produced and aired over 1640 consecutive weeks (31 years) of free news bulletin programming dealing with Amateur Radio and related personal communications issues.

Primary corporate underwriting of the "Young Ham of the Year Award" program is supplied by Vertex-Standard Corporation (Yaesu U.S.A.) and CQ Magazine. Vertex-Standard is a world leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of Yaesu brand high quality Amateur Radio and Vertex brand commercial two-way radio equipment. Since the inception of the award in 1986, this company has been its corporate underwriter.

As of 1995, CQ Publishing has been an additional corporate underwriter. CQ Magazine and its sister publications are owned by CQ Communications and are considered the trend-setting publications serving today's modern radio amateur.

Past recipients of the Young Ham of the Year award include:
Shawn Alan Wakefield, WK5P, of Bartlesville, Oklahoma (1986)
David Rosenman, KA9PMK, of Muncie, Indiana (1987)
Jonathan Binstock, NK3D, of Potomac, Maryland (1988)
Erin McGinnis, KAOWTE, of Topeka, Kansas (1989)
Mary Alestra, KB2IGG, of Staten Island, New York (1990)
Richard S. "Sammy" Garrett, AAOCR, of St. Louis, Missouri (1991)
Angela (Angie) Fischer, KBOHXY, of St. Louis, Missouri (1992)
Kevin Boudreaux, N5XMH, of New Orleans, Louisiana (1993)
Allison Zettwoch, KD4CKP, of Louisville, Kentucky (1994)
Adam Weyhaupt, N9MEZ, of Alton, Illinois (1995)
Toby Metz, KB7UIM, of Boise, Idaho (1996)
Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, of Albuquerque New Mexico (1997)
Richard Paczkowski, Jr., KF4BIA, of Edgewater Florida (1998)
Michelle Swann, KE4EZI, of Warner-Robins, GA (1999)
Christopher Arthur, KT4XA, of Russellville, AL (2000)
Patrick Clark, KC8BFD, of Charleston W. VA. (2001)
Josh Abramowicz, KB3GWY, of Reading PA (2002)
Jay Thompson, W6JAY, of Santa Ana CA (2003)
Andrea Hartlage, KB4IUM, of Grayson GA (2004)
Rebekah Dorff, WG4Y, of Birmingham AL (2005)
Catherine Ferry, NC8F, of Silver Lake, OH (2006)
Grant Morine, W4GHM, of Wilmington N.C. (2007)
Emily Stewart, KC0PTL, of Topeka, KS. (2008)

The United States Amateur Radio service is force of over a 600,000 publicly spirited personal radio operators who are licensed and regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. They provide the nation with a pool of trained radio operators and technicians to assist the United States in improving international relations. They are also available as a voluntary group of skilled public service-oriented individuals with their own radio equipment who are available to provide emergency communications in times of disaster. In the moments immediately following the 911 terror attacks, Amateur Radio volunteers became the first-response communicators in New York City after a major portion of that city's radio system was destroyed. Hams also provided life-saving communications along the U.S. Gulf Coast during and after Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005.


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