LOS LUNAS — The Los Lunas Walmart Super Center sponsored Valencia County Amateur Radio Association’s successful application for a $1,900 Walmart Community Grant.

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Caren Nicholson, Los Lunas Walmart Super Center manager, presents grant check to Valencia County Amateur Radio Association members Earl Cox KB5UEW, Charlie Lyon NM5CL and Mark Johnson N9YEX.

Every year, Walmart awards thousands of grants for community service projects to non-profit organizations.

Applications must be supported by local Walmart facilities to assure the fair distribution of grants across the nation and that local needs are met.

The club will use the money to link its three open-to-all repeaters. Repeaters are similar to cell phone towers except they use radio waves rather than wires and repeaters continue to operate when electrical and/or phone service is disrupted.

Using the linked repeater system, Hams (i.e., amateur radio operators) located anywhere in the county will be able to talk with each other.

Club members using these repeaters are a key supplemental communications resource for Valencia County’s first responders during large emergencies and for events such as the Good Friday Tomé Hill pilgrimage.

The repeaters are also used for Ham-to-Ham visits and communication between family members.

Using the repeaters’ internet connection, local operators using a simple handheld radios are having a lot of fun to visit with other Hams around the world.

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