By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterNovember 17, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and the Fort Rucker Community Spouses' Club made it easy for people to get a jump start on their holiday shopping.
The club hosted its annual HollyDay Bazaar at Yano Hall Nov. 12 where people came by the hundreds to shop vendors that offered crafts, jewelry, antiques, toys and much more, with proceeds going towards a good cause -- helping the community, said Helen Kosman, FRCSC third vice president.
Throughout the event, people were able to get a taste of the holidays by visiting with Santa Claus, who made himself available for pictures, shopping the different vendors, eating their favorite foods and even getting their portraits drawn.
Danielle and Sherry Baldwin, sisters from Enterprise, said they attend the event every year in hopes of finding that special holiday gift.
"We just think this is a great event where you can find things that you normally wouldn't be able to get anywhere else," said Danielle. "I absolutely love hand-crafted items and anything that's crafty, and there is just so much of that here, so it's really like a paradise for me."
Sherry also said she enjoys the crafts, but it's the atmosphere that she enjoys the most.
"Christmas time is my favorite time of year and it can never start soon enough for me," she said. "Every time I come here it makes me feel like Christmas has started and I just love it. I can get a lot of my shopping done and it just really puts me in a great mood, so it's just a win overall for me."
Although the bazaar is meant to cater to the public's love of shopping, it serves a purpose greater than that, said Kosman, who added that the bazaar is the club's largest annual fundraiser.
"(The bazaar) is important to Fort Rucker and the surrounding community because it's a time when we all come together as one big community to celebrate the holidays," she said. "The funds that we make as a club go back to the community in the form of scholarships and welfare (projects)."
Proceeds from the HollyDay Bazaar go to help fund scholarships and grants that the spouses club supports for students in the local community, and in years past, the bazaar has helped raise 10s of thousands of dollars for those scholarships.
For the Baldwins, it makes it easier for them knowing that they're able to help a good cause.
"I think that's just a bonus to being able to come out here and shop and have a good time," said Sherry. "The holiday season is really about giving, and this is one small way that we can help give back, so we're all for that."
"I just think it's a wonderful cause that they're able to do this for students who are aspiring to continue their education," added Danielle. "It really does fit with the spirit of giving and I'm happy to support that."