FAIRS Founding

The Foundation for Amateur International Radio Service was created as an idea during a train trip from Moscow to the Western Ukraine. There were five Americans visiting Ukrainian and Russian friends. The visit was set up to distribute donated equipment in Russia and Ukraine. It seemed that a formal group was needed to do this type of volunteer work in an organized way on a regular basis.

The Americans were David KK4WW and Gaynell KD4GMV Larsen, Bob W6YMR and Virginia KD6NBW Fribertshauser, and John Douglas N0ISL. Our host was Victor Goncharsky US5WE; all traveling on the train during these discussions. The date was May 9th, 1991. This created the name 59 Group.

When we arrived in Lvov, Ukraine more hams were brought into the discussions and the final 59 Group founding members of FAIRS are: David Larsen KK4WW, Gaynell Larsen KD4GMV, N0ISL John Douglas, W6YMR Bob Friegertshauser, Victor Goncharsky US5WE, Vlad Goncharsky U5WF, Helen Goncharsky UR5WA, Yuri Katyutin UA4LCQ, Valentin Kudryavtsev UA4LM, Victor Golutvin UT1WPR, Vladimir Klebanovsky US5WV, George Chlijanc UY5XE.

David and Gaynell started forming the formal legal structure after returning to the states. The Foundation for Amateur International Radio Service is a nonprofit corporation registered in the state of Virginia. The full Public foundation with Internal revenue status 501-©-(3) and the right to accept tax deductible donations of money or equipment. FAIRS is a membership Foundation with a suggested membership fee of $10.00 per year. However those wanting to join but don’t have the funds may join free of charge. Anyone interested in joining may do so: in fact, many of our members are not amateur radio operators.

FAIRS has major projects in the following countries: Russia, Ukraine, Dominica, Bangladesh, Canada, and Guyana. These countries now have active local FAIRS groups. FAIRS members have projects of helping hams in many additional countries. Some that come to mind are Haiti, Zambia, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, India, and others.

The first major grant funds were received in April 1995 in the amount of $24,873 from the United States Agency for International Development through the Eurasia Foundation. The grant proposal “Ukrainian Digital Amateur Radio Network” was written by David Larsen, KK4WW Executive Director of FAIRS, and Victor Goncharsky US5WE, Director of European Operations.

FAIRS received the club license N4USA in April 1995.

FAIRS gatherings are on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday with the Guyana and Caribbean group at 1130Z on 14,318.5KZ up or down as needed.

FAIRS has an emergency communication center in Floyd Virginia using VHF/UHF local services and HF station for international work (N4USA).
For more information on FAIRS you can check out the following websites:

  • Address

    201 East Main Street

  • Phone



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