KILLEEN — Christmas shopping was on everyone’s minds at the 32nd annual Fort Hood Officers’ Spouses Club Holiday Bazaar, which had its best turnout in recent years on Saturday and Sunday.

More than 1,800 people attended the two-day event, and the group surpassed the funds raised from last year’s bazaar, said Jennifer Vroegindewey, holiday bazaar chairperson.

Officials declined to state how much money was earned, but past bazaars have garnered as much as $40,000.

About half of the 120 vendors were new to the bazaar.

“We’ve got everything from food to jewelry to tutus,” said Tracy Curran, club president. “All of the proceeds go back to the community through monetary grants.”

Last year, the club donated $250,000 in grants to organizations including the Red Cross, the USO and local nonprofits such as

food pantries.

Many vendors are military spouses, too.

“I’ve gotten great feedback,” said vendor Wendy Caldwell, owner of Homefront Metalworks. On Sunday, she already noticed an uptick in views of her company’s Etsy page.

Based in San Antonio with her husband stationed at Fort Sam Houston, Caldwell wanted to reach out to military spouses in the Killeen area with her handmade, personalized jewelry.

Self-proclaimed “Army wives” Adrian Evans and Angie Taylor showcased their handmade women’s accessories crafted from men’s ties.

Wearing a vest of white and peach colored ties, Evans served as the model for the pair’s designs. Along with a third spouse, they created All Tied Out in March 2012. They offer an array of items, including Christmas tree skirts and decorative rosettes.

“We’ve gotten an awesome response,” Evans said of the bazaar. “We get a lot of comments on how different and creative it is.”

Attendee Maleah Mitchell purchased goat milk-based soaps for her coworkers at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, along with a Fort Hood souvenir plate for a departing colleague.

“I usually make my own soaps, but right now I’m buying Christmas gifts,” she said.

Contact Madison Lozano​ at mlozano@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7552.

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