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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — U.S. servicemembers, civilians and families can begin the hunt for Christmas bargains at the Yokota Officers’ Spouses Club’s annual Fall Asian Bazaar, set for Oct. 15-16 in Hangar 15 near the Yokota flight line.

The event, among the largest of its kind on the Kanto Plain, will have more than 50 vendors offering items such as Japanese and Korean antiques, lamps, ceramics, fine jewelry and rosewood furniture. It takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. the opening day and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the next.

The YOSC also stages an Asian bazaar each spring, but the fall version typically draws a larger turnout.

The club’s share of proceeds from the bazaar provides the group’s primary source of donations to the community, said Roni Dieringer, volunteer coordinator for the two-day event. The YOSC provides scholarships and funnels proceeds to base organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and American Red Cross. The Tripler House in Honolulu and Fisher House in San Antonio are among other beneficiaries.

“We don’t keep any of the money,” Dieringer said. “We give to just about anyone requesting monetary donations. None of it stays in YOSC coffers. It all gets back into the community here one way or another and benefits everyone.”

According to Susan Kreulen, the YOSC’s bazaar adviser, the club raised about $70,000 from the spring and fall events in 2004. Seventy-five percent was handed out in scholarships and donations to different Yokota organizations, while a quarter went to cover operating expenses, which include rental equipment from Outdoor Recreation and hiring private agencies to work security.

“This is a huge community effort,” Kreulen said. “We couldn’t do it without all those volunteers.”

The dozens of vendors slated for the event hail from locations including Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore. Concessions will be sold at food booths in a picnic area outside the hangar. In addition, two furniture delivery services will be available.

Base agencies and volunteers assist in the fall bazaar, Dieringer said. A year ago, more than 400 people helped out.

Organizers say more are needed for the upcoming event, including individuals fluent in Japanese and Korean. Volunteers would help vendors with sales and customers and would receive early shopping privileges and be eligible for door prizes.

For information or to volunteer, contact Dieringer at DSN 227-9672 or Teresa Negley at DSN 225-9381 or e-mail yoscbazaarvolunteer@yahoo.com.

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