Central Michigan Amateur Radio Club

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Ralph Ziegenbein W8PLP & Don Devendorf W8EGI
Ralph Ziegenbein (W8PLP) and Don Devendorf (W8EGI), circa 1955. Don brought this photo to each Ladies' Night for the past several years and now, thanks to Don's Family, we will keep that tradition alive, with a beautifully scanned copy, which is ready for this year's Ladies' Night. If you want a copy of this photo, contact Erv (W8ERV) and he can get one for you. There is much history in this photo and it is the only photo we have of Ziegenbein, too. A BIG thank you to the Devendorf Family for their help in preserving a piece of CMARC history for future generations...


Your Mailing Label should look like this:

Donald McLain
4444 Sycamore Street, Apt #1
Holt, MI 48842 USA

ATTN: Ziegenbein Nomination


Email to: kb8radon@aol.com


The final Chapter in this story, and one that is still being written today, was the creation of the Ziegenbein Award. This award is presented each May to the Full CMARC member who has contributed the most to Amateur Radio, in general and CMARC, in particular for the previous calendar year. The Ziegenbein Committee consists of recipients of the award for the previous three years.

Ziegenbein Nomination Guidelines

  1. The recipient must be a full, current member of CMARC.

  2. Nominations to be made in writing, in your own words, no chain letters to be accepted, stating nominees contributions to CMARC and Amateur Radio.

  3. All nominations are to be kept secret until award is presented.

  4. All nominations are to be mailed (regular postal mail OR email).

  5. The same person can receive the award more than once.

  6. The Committee shall consist of the last three recipients; the senior member shall be the chairman.

  7. All nominations are to be closely checked and discussed by the Committee.

  8. If the Committee feels the nominees are not deserving, the award does not have to be given.

  9. Nominations are to be submitted before March 15th of each year, so the Committee can make the selection and have the plaque engraved.

  10. The recipient will be announced at the annual Ladies' Night.

2013 Recipient Jane Hosford, KC8FSK
Jane Hosford KC8FSK with husband John Hosford KC8QZB

As you all know, each year a member of the Central Michigan Amateur Radio Club is selected to receive an Award named in honor of Ralph Ziegenbein, W8PLP, who became a Silent Key in 1960. This Award is bestowed upon that member who we feel has done the most for Ham Radio in general and CMARC in particular in the past calendar year and who exemplifies the spirit of Ralph Ziegenbein. The choice was a difficult one, but we, the Ziegenbein Award Committee, have come to a unanimous decision and are here tonight to present the Award to the following Club member:

The recipient of the Ziegenbein Award this evening has been a licensed Amateur now for about 18 years. In that time this Ham has served as a certified SKYWARN Weather Spotter, has helped with Field Day, has volunteered for the many different Walk-a-thons and other events in the community, has served as a Director on the Board of CMARC for at least a half dozen years (as Secretary for at least two), has been the Cards and Flowers Chair for at least a half dozen years, has helped with the planning and implementation of the Ladies Night Banquet and the CMARC Hamfest in recent years, as well as, back in the '90s, has also helped with kitchen duties at Club meetings and has been the Club Printer for years. There are many other things they have done to help our Club "behind the scenes", but suffice it to say that whenever the call went out for help, they always responded with, "YES!!"

As you can see, the role this Amateur has played over the years in Ham Radio and CMARC makes them the undisputed choice for winner of the 2013 Ziegenbein Award! They have been passed over for this Award since the '90s and we think it's high time that they be acknowledged.

Therefore, it is with great pleasure that the Ziegenbein Award Committee bestows CMARC's highest and most prestigious honor upon this deserving Ham. Introducing the winner of the Ziegenbein Award for the year 2013.... Mrs. Jane Hosford, KC8FSK! CONGRATULATIONS, JANE!! You have worked long and hard and are truly deserving of all of our appreciation for your dedication to our Club and Hobby!

~Don McLain/KB8RAD, Ziegenbein Award Committee

2012 Recipient John Hosford, KC8QZB
Don McLain KB8RAD and Bob Berger K8RDN congratulating John Hosford KC8QZB, the 2012 Ziegenbein Award Winner.

CMARC Members,

“Introducing the winner of the Ziegenbein Award for the year 2012.... Mr. John Hosford, KC8QZB!” John is a very humble and unassuming person, who doesn’t do anything for recognition or praise, but just because he wants to help! He truly has that “Ralph Ziegenbein” attitude, because after all, it's not just WHAT a person does but WHY they do it that counts, right? John never complains or utters an unkind word; he is kind, patient and more than willing to help!

He's only been licensed for about 12 years and shortly after getting his ticket, he became a part of CMARC. It was around 2004, when the Club was about to close its doors because of lack of interest and an ever-decreasing membership, that John first became involved in the leadership of CMARC. Since then, John’s been on the Board of Directors for EIGHT YEARS, serving as President for 2 years, Vice-President for 2 years, and Secretary for 4 years! Because of John's dedication and the dedication of the other Board Members he’s served with, CMARC has continued to grow and flourish. Then, a few years ago, John got his Extra and immediately became an ARRL-Sanctioned Volunteer Examiner, actively serving with the “Ingham County VE Group”. Some other things John has done to his credit are:

CONGRATULATIONS, John! You are truly deserving of all our appreciation for your dedication to our Club and Hobby!

~Don McLain, Ziegenbein Award Committee

2011 Recipient Don McLain, KB8RAD
CMARC President Corey J. Bulock KD8BOQ congratulating Don McLain KB8RAD the 2011 Ziegenbein Award Winner.

Don McLain (KB8RAD) was honored as the 2011 Ziegenbein award winner! Don has spent countless hours actively promoting and supporting amateur radio. He has served on the CMARC board for many years, including serving as Vice President and filling in wherever and whenever needed. Don founded the “Breakfast Club Net” specifically to encourage licensed amateurs to actually USE their license priviledges. Don also founded the “Lending Library”, “RAD’s Coffee Break”, the “Mid-Michigan Information Net”, and serves on the Ingham County VE Team. Congratulations, Don, and thanks for all that you do!

2010 Recipient Bob Berger, K8RDN
Bob Berger K8RDN receives the 2010 Ziegenbein award

Bob Berger (K8RDN) was honored as the 2010 Ziegenbein award winner! Bob served for several years on the Board of CMARC and specifically worked as the Vice President. He has been actively involved in local, state, and regional traffics nets, helping hams be prepared for emergency traffic handling. We thank Bob for his service to the hobby, and to CMARC and are honored to announce he is now part of a historic group of Ziegenbein winners.

2009 Recipient Ronald Harger, WD8BCS

Ron Harger (WD8BCS) was honored at the Annual Ladies' Night/Ziegenbein Banquet. There was a large turnout for the dinner and the room erupted into applause when Ron's name was revealed. Shortly thereafter, his Father Dan (W8BCI) posed for this photo with his son. It was nearly 45 years ago to the day that Dan was honored, making Ron the first second generation Ziegenbein Recipient in the history of the award. Congratulations, Ron! Well done...

2008 Recipient Richard McGuire, KI8C
KI8C and AB8RX
Richard McGuire (KI8C) is congratulated by the 2008 Ziegenbein Recipient, Roger Barnhill (AB8RX) at the June, 2009 CMARC meeting. Dick wasn't present at the Ladies' Night celebration, which necessitated a CMARC presentation, but we were ALL pleased to know that Dick got it. WAY TO GO, Dick

2007 Recipient Roger Barnhill, AB8RX
AB8RX and KB8PSF Roger (AB8RX)
Roger Barnhill (AB8RX) receives the 2007 Ziegenbein Award from Pam Denomme (KB8PSF) at the Annual Ladies' Night Banquet on Saturday, May 2, 2008. CONGRATULATIONS, Roger!

Who Was Ralph Ziegenbein (W8PLP) ?

Some members wonder for months, or even years about the annual award CMARC bestows on its most active and contributive member. Some even struggle with the pronounciation of the award's name, but after reading this bit of information, you can amaze your friends and relatives with the story...and the man behind it.

Ralph Ziegenbein (pronounced Zig-en-bine) held Amateur Callsign W8PLP. He was popular barber in the Lansing area, with a shop located on Michigan Avenue, near Clemens and made a large impact on our Club. "He would ask if you were a Ham when you came into his shop", said longtime CMARC member, Currin Skutt (W8FSZ). "If you said yes, he would open a drawer and hand you a QST, if you said no, he would direct you to the magazines on the table."

There is little information on the man known affectionately as "Mr. Ham Radio" and he has no Family in the area, according to Currin Skutt, but he is remembered as the man who spearheaded the push to bring the Novice Class license to Amateur Radio. According to Currin, Ziegenbein came up with the idea, sent it to the Club Secretary and had it typed up for submission to the ARRL. "The League took it from there", Skutt remembered and Amateur Radio added the Novice Class to its list.

Ziegenbein was among the last of the sparkgap users in the Lansing area. Currin tells a story about how Ralph's transmitter would weld the electric meter when he used his transmitter, which caused some problems with the electric company. A man of good humor, Skutt also told of Ziegenbein's homespun phonetics. "He called himself a modular fruit stand", said Skutt. "Peaches, Lemons and Prunes".

W8PLP assured himself a place in the hearts of CMARC members of that day. Currin shared that Ziegenbein was a "man of his word. If he told you he would do something, you could expect a report on it at the next meeting". His dedication to the Hobby was apparent and Skutt also said the Lansing barber never missed a meeting.

A member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA), Ziegenbein was traveling to the Upper Peninsula for a meeting in 1960 when he and his wife were involved in a terrible auto accident near Houghton Lake, Michigan. Ziegenbein died in the accident, but his wife was taken to a Grayling hospital with injuries.

Following his death, Currin tells that a group of Hams known as "The Lush Wells" (all CMARC members) decided to preserve Ziegenbein's callsign, "If not for the Club, then for a worthy organization." After navigating a sea of red tape, the group's efforts were rewarded and W8PLP was issued to CMARC for the station at the American Red Cross, Lansing Chapter shortly thereafter.

The final Chapter in this story, and one that is still being written today, was the creation of the Ziegenbein Award. This award is presented each May to the Full CMARC member who has contributed the most to Amateur Radio, in general and CMARC, in particular for the previous calendar year. The Ziegenbein Committee consists of recipients of the award for the previous three years.

Below is a list of all previous Ziegenbein Award Winners

Year Name
2013 Jane Hosford KC8FSK
2012 John Hosford KC8QZB
2011 Don McLain KB8RAD
2010 Bob Berger K8RDN
2009 Ronald Harger WD8BCS
2008 Richard McGuire KI8C
2007 Roger Barnhill AB8RX
2006 DeAnna Barnhill KD8BDI
2005 Don De Feyter KC8CY
2004 Joe Denomme N8VYS
2003 Gregg Mulder WB8LZG
2002 Jaymes Kenyon KC8DJH
2001 Mark Humphreys N8DEF (SK)
2000 J. Ervin Bates W8ERV
1999 Pam Denomme KB8PSF
1998 Julie McLain KB8ZXR
1997 Roy Uchigashima N8GAQ
1996 Pete Elrod N8EST (SK)
1995 Don Cote KD8BD
1994 Dick Pennington W8SFA (SK)
1993 Dick Thomas W8VJC (SK)
1992 Ken Kruger W8AAX
1991 Bill Chapman W8TJQ (SK)
1990 Don Devendorf W8EGI (SK)
1989 Inez Pearson KY8V (SK)
1988 George Wood K8GHX (SK)
1987 Don Tillitson WB8NUS
1986 Marion Stoner W8VWY (SK)
1985 John “Tiny” Hewitt K8DHN (SK)
1984 Rowena Elrod KA8OBS (SK)
1983 Linda Haigh KA8HHA
1982 Jere Haigh WA8BAP
1981 Harold Mahlke W8QG (SK)
1980 Beverley Stoner K8ZJU
1979 Lee Hamilton K8CDM (SK)
1978 Dale Moore K8YRD (SK)
1977 Larry Alman WA8QCW
1976 Lloyd Brox K8ZKM (SK)
1975 George Croze K8VKX (SK)
1974 Carl Hunsaker K8ILF (SK)
1973 Lyle Brooks W8TIJ (SK)
1972 John Sheldon WA8MVH (SK)
1971 Mert Henry K8ETU (SK)
1970 Wally Beck W8QQL (SK)
1969 Harold Bell WA8LAY (SK)
1968 Duane Cross K8ATU
1967 Dick Kelly K8BZV (SK)
1966 Ben Hassell W8VPC (SK)
1965 Dan Harger W8BCI (SK)
1964 Don Rickerd W8BQD (SK)
1963 Pete Gossett W8CKK (SK)
1962 Currin Skutt W8FSZ (SK)
1961 Gordon Maine W8OCK (SK)