Ramstein Welfare Bazaar a shopping success

by Tracy Swift
Ramstein Welfare Bazaar publicity chairwoman

More than 20,000 people from the KMC enjoyed shopping for special treasures and eating  great food from around the globe during this year’s Ramstein Welfare Bazaar, held Sept. 15 to 18.

This annual event has been taking place for the last 47 years.
Not only was this four-day event a great chance to bump into friends, neighbors and co-workers, it was one of the largest fundraisers of its kind in Europe, with all of the net proceeds going back to the KMC.

Power shoppers and mindless wanderers alike noticed how colossal the organized bazaar was. This massive event was organized by several hundred civilian and military volunteers from around the KMC.

The Ramstein Officers’ Spouses Club Bazaar Committee comprises 33 members, whose collective year-round efforts total well over 6,000 hours.
In addition, many other private organizations, booster clubs, school groups and individuals contributed an additional estimated 10,000 hours. Volunteers are also made up of both active and retired military members and their spouses who are no
longer stationed in the KMC but who continue to volunteer at the bazaar year after year.

Preliminary figures indicate that this year’s Ramstein Welfare Bazaar will net a similar amount of proceeds for the KMC as it has in recent years. As such, expect that the proceeds will be distributed across the community, with more than half of it going to the Department of Defense Dependents Schools and scholarships for youth and military spouses.

Proceeds from the Ramstein Welfare Bazaar also help support such worthwhile causes as DODDS special programs, youth sports programs, The Fisher House, First Sergeants Association, Scouting and countless other organizations in the KMC, not to mention several

national programs in the U.S., such as the Air Force Aid Society.
In addition to the proceeds provided to private organizations, the bazaar was not without its tangible benefits to its shoppers.

Shoppers would have had to travel thousands of miles to find all the great items that were available for purchase at the bazaar. The public drawing also gave shoppers a chance to win some beautiful prizes, ranging from artwork to furniture, all of which were generously donated by vendors.

Many base-wide groups helped make the event a huge success.
Many thanks go out to all volunteers, especially volunteers from the 86th Airlift Wing, the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing, AFN,  the 86th Force Support Squadron, civil engineering and communications, all of whom were
essential in making the Ramstein Welfare Bazaar a success.

Thanks also go out to the 139 vendors from around the world who helped out at the bazaar by bringing the treasures of Europe to Ramstein’s doorstep.