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Ann Chapman, with Suffolk Bears and Gifts, sets up a display Thursday for the Rhein-Main Air Base bazaar. Organized by the Rhein-Main Community Spouses Club, it is the final bazaar before the base closes in December 2005.
Ann Chapman, with Suffolk Bears and Gifts, sets up a display Thursday for the Rhein-Main Air Base bazaar. Organized by the Rhein-Main Community Spouses Club, it is the final bazaar before the base closes in December 2005. (Lisa Horn / S&S)

RHEIN-MAIN AIR BASE, Germany — The Rhein-Main Community Spouses Club Bazaar — the community’s largest moneymaker — opens Friday for one final go-round.

The base will close its doors at the end of 2005.

“[Bazaars] are the biggest, best way to make money fast,” said Cecilia Kitterman, co-chairwoman of the bazaar and president of the Rhein-Main Community Spouses Club. “But as the base has gotten smaller, the bazaar has also shrunk. In fact, this year we weren’t sure if we were going to do one.”

However, with the help of volunteers eager to make one final contribution, the Rhein-Main bazaar will have one last hurrah from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The event is free to all U.S. ID-cardholders, and strollers will be allowed.

While organizers were unsure of when the first bazaar took place, it has been an annual event for at least the past 25 years.

“Even though we’re winding down, we still have an impressive number of volunteers,” Kitterman said. “We have about 80 to 100 volunteers who will be here throughout the weekend.”

In 2003, the bazaar brought in just under $30,000. With 81 vendors this year, organizers expect to meet that figure again.

Money raised will go toward two $2,000 scholarships for high school seniors affiliated with Rhein-Main. Base community groups and organizations that serve all of the military, such as the United Service Organizations, will also receive some of the proceeds.

Organizers expect to have the funds distributed by October, and any money left over will most likely go to the Family Support Center, one of the last facilities to close on base, Kitterman said.

“The Family Support Center will be here probably until the end of the base, and they run a lot of activities,” she said.

“We will try to get the scholarships divvied up before next summer, but they might even be earmarked in the family support center’s fund.”

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