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MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — There’s a foot of snow on the ground, but the Misawa Officers Spouses Club is thinking spring.

Spring bazaar, to be exact.

The group is calling on Misawa residents to volunteer: More than 200 are needed for the Far East Bazaar to be held March 19 and 20 in Hangar 949, said Kim Milner, publicity chairwoman for the bazaar and MOSC.

“It’s a fabulous weekend,” Milner said. “The volunteers have a great time. We couldn’t do it without their help. It really is a total community effort.”

Volunteers will work with vendors out on the floor, helping them write sales tickets and packaging purchases, she said. They’ll also assist with inputing sales data and other paperwork in the business office during the event.

Volunteers work four-hour shifts. In exchange, “there are perks,” Milner said.

“All of our volunteers are eligible for door-prize drawings during their shift, and they are allowed to pre-shop before the bazaar opens to the rest of the base community on Saturday,” she said.

Door prizes are donated by the bazaar’s vendors.

This year, about 30 vendors from all over Asia are expected at the bazaar. Milner said furniture sellers from South Korea, China and Hong Kong will be on hand. Other items to be sold include Japanese antiques, kokeshi dolls, obi and kimono, and Persian rugs from Pakistan.

The newest vendor, who was featured for the first time in the club’s annual fall bazaar, is from India.

“He had some really neat fabric goods, like duvet covers, pillow shams, tablecloths and runners,” Milner said.

Besides volunteers, MOSC also is seeking donations of food for volunteers and vendors throughout the weekend, Milner said.

“We are asking for donations of bottled water and soda and individually-wrapped snacks,” she said. Those items can be dropped off at the hospitality room in Hangar 949 starting March 18.

MOSC also contracts with private organizations to set up food and other booths and is currently seeking organizations for that work.

The spring bazaar is one of the club’s biggest fund-raisers of the year. Proceeds are donated to community organizations and scholarship funds, Milner said.

To get on the list to volunteer for the bazaar, send an e-mail to: fareastbazaar@yahoo.com.

“You can list your shift preference and we’ll do our best to accommodate you,” Milner said.

The bazaar runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 19, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 20. It’s open to all status-of-forces-agreement identification card holders.

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
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