It’s bazaar time for Misawa Officer’s Spouses Club
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Thousands of goods from the far corners of East Asia are expected to be trucked onto this northern Japan base for the Far East Bazaar on Oct. 29 and 30.
Hangar 949’s doors open the first day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the next.
Sponsored by the Misawa Officer’s Spouses Club, the fall bazaar and a similar one held in the spring serve as the club’s biggest fund-raisers. A majority of proceeds are donated to base organizations such as Pets Are Worth Saving (PAWS), American Red Cross, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, the schools and the library and various scholarship funds.
“It’s just something good to do for the community,” said Carla Eilers, MOSC president.
For each bazaar, the MOSC sells about $500,000 worth of merchandise, with 10 to 12 percent of that total — or about $50,000 — being profit, all of which goes back into the community, according to MOSC officers.
Thirty-five vendors will sell wares from at least eight East Asian countries, organizers said. A local Japanese pottery maker and his wife, a calligrapher, will make their first appearance at the bazaar. Also new this year is handcrafted furniture from India. Other products include Thai home décor and Japanese and Korean ceramics, jewelry, clothing, antiques, furniture, lamps and silken goods. Also on hand will be replicas of Japanese artifacts, Japanese rain chains, handmade stocking stuffers for children and angel pins.
“You can find products that will speak to your personal tastes as to how you want to decorate your home,” said Carolyn Dragseth, MOSC publicity chairwoman.
It’s also a chance to knock out holiday shopping for family members or find something special from an unfamiliar place, she said. “This is the perfect opportunity and it’s all under one roof.”
About 400 volunteers help with the bazaar. MOSC is still in need of people to assist vendors, unpack merchandise, tally sales receipts, set up and disassemble tables and other jobs. Volunteers earn special perks, including pre-crowd shopping privileges that start at 8 a.m. on the bazaar’s opening day and a chance to win numerous door prizes, said MOSC bazaar chairwoman Jenni Johnson.
“Many times we’ve given away large pieces of furniture,” Eilers said. “Vendors give us all different types of things, and we also purchase additional door prizes to use over the weekend.” Volunteers are assigned four-hour shifts.
MOSC is also seeking food and drink donations — preferably individual-wrapped snacks and bottled water or soda — for vendors and volunteers.
To volunteer or for more information, contact the MOSC at: firstname.lastname@example.org.