Who is Fairs?

Since its inception in 1991, has been providing equipment and technologies for greater communication between individuals, communities and governments.  In addition, the directors and other volunteers have educated citizens in many parts of the world toward preparedness in the event of disaster, by the use of radio communication.  FAIRS has been instrumental in the transport of thousands of dollars of radios, medicines, supplies, and other aids to various areas in need.  Local churches have assisted FAIRS to deliver the message of the Gospel and to call upon the faithful to act, that their friends and neighbors might experience life and growth. FAIRS has facilitated over one hundred “people to people” exchanges, and constructed a network of folks throughout the world who manage project activities on a volunteer basis.  FAIRS gives motivational support in radio gatherings held several times a week.

FAIRS is a membership foundation, and receives typically small donations to help fund projects. The directors are good stewards of funds which are entrusted to them- they strive to multiply what is received to accomplish more.  FAIRS does not use donated funds for salaries or travel!  Any funds you may donate will go directly toward objectives outlined in this proposal.  FAIRS works to parlay funds for maximum value of donated dollars.

It is not the intention of FAIRS to boast or to use funds for promotion in any way.  This foundation is simply a vehicle for charitable works in the U.S. and abroad, and the name is widely known, which helps in dealing with the various authorities and governments.

Meet the Directors

David and Gaynell Larsen

David grew up near Salem, Oregon during the 40s and 50s, helped with the family farm, and enjoyed camping, hunting and fishing. During those years he became interested in electronics and became an Amateur Radio Operator. After graduating from high school in 1957, he served in Uncle Sam’s Navy for 2 years as an electronic technician, and went to Oregon State University for a degree in Business and Technology (Electronics).  He spent some years in the electronic industry as an engineer, and the next 30 as a university teacher in electronic instrumentation at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. For ten years at VT, David worked with the Office of International Development for the University.  A number of faculty and student exchanges were arranged, and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were fashioned with universities in the former Soviet Union.  David received the Faculty Service Award in 1995 for “outstanding service in the outreach mission”.  David retired from Tech in 1998. For many of those years, he was associated with land and farming with the start-up of a Christmas tree farm and marketing organization, which developed into a serious operation with hundreds of acres of Christmas trees and was a good sale upon retirement in 1993.

Gaynell was born and raised in Virginia, near Appomattox, and enjoyed farm living in that area with so many of her family members close by.  She came to the Floyd area and worked several years in banking, and as a legal secretary before venturing into small business. She was owner of the “Blue Ridge Restaurant”  in Floyd from 1980 to 1986.  David and Gaynell still enjoy breakfast there each morning, if you’re inclined to stop by.  Gaynell also managed Brookfield Christmas Tree Bed & Breakfast in association with David’s tree farm -- a great marketing tool and a successful business in its own right.

In 1992, David and Gaynell founded the non-profit foundation, Foundation for Amateur International Radio Service (FAIRS) to work with groups in less fortunate countries to develop emergency radio communications systems and provide medical and equipment assistance.  FAIRS often facilitates international “people to people” exchanges.  David and Gaynell direct the activities of the foundation and, if you speak with them, you will sense the passion they have for this work of helping people.

David and Gaynell have 5 children, 17 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren!  Family has become an increasingly important part of their lives as they grow older. They make a point to develop a closer bond with each one as an individual.  For that reason, when a grandchild is between the ages of 11 and 14, he or she is invited to travel internationally with “Pa Pa and Gay Gay”, to share a great experience and consider dreams and goals.

Dee Dannewitz Wallace

Dee came to the Christiansburg-Blacksburg area from a southeastern Nebraska farming community.  She spent her early years being mentored in business, and obtained sponsorship for much traveling in education, for 4-H, and mission trips with the church & others.  She received great education at LIFE Bible College and Virginia Tech, and has background in finance, accounting, sales and management.  She has always enjoyed spending time outdoors and working with various community groups.

After college, Dee moved to Floyd with her son, Christian, to get back to “farm living” and for a closer association with David and Gaynell and the FAIRS foundation activities. In 2007, Dee married long-time friend, Greg Wallace, who is a native of Floyd County.

Melissa Q. Thompson

Melissa joined the FAIRS group toward the end of year 2007, as works as Executive Assistant for the Foundation.  Melissa has lived the majority of her life in Floyd County, centering her activities around church life and family, volunteer work, and helping her parents who run a family-owned business.  She is married with two children and a son-in-law, and a new granddaughter!  Her work experience is related to accounting, international and domestic customer service, shipping and sales.  Melissa cheers on the home team when she attends various local sporting events…she loves the outdoors.  Walking and reading are other ways she spends her time.

FAIRS is partially subsidized by real estate work in which David, Gaynell, and Dee (named the LCF Group) have personal interest.  They own and develop many recreational and farm properties in Montgomery, Floyd and Franklin Counties.  They work toward a parcel that is ready to build upon, and then market to the buyer along with a financing package.  Since David and Gaynell are “retired” (and Dee is heading in that direction), they work only with property they own, do what they enjoy, and operate on an “as funds are needed” basis. 

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