The halls were decked at the Killeen Civic & Conference Center on Saturday as over 500 community members and counting visited the 36th annual Holiday Bazaar, presented by the Fort Hood Spouses’ Club.
The event will continue Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Usually held the weekend after Veterans Day, the bazaar featured 100 local vendors and six food trucks.
Stacy Clady, co-chairwoman of the Holiday Bazaar, said the event kicks off the holiday season for many in the community.
“The Holiday Bazaar is our first and biggest fundraiser of the year,” she said. “All of the profits from this event goes back to the community through our grant outreach program. This event means community and family, both with the attendees, the volunteers, the vendors, and it’s really about giving back.”
Col. Ron McNamara, chief of staff at Fort Hood’s Operational Test Command, and his wife, Naomi, of Harker Heights, said they enjoyed shopping for one-of-a-kind holiday gifts.
“They have such novel ideas here, things you don’t find at any other stores,” said McNamara. “It’s perfect timing for the holidays and I think what makes me most want to come out here is that it goes for a good cause. This event is part of our holiday. We know it comes around Thanksgiving every year so when it comes, we’re here.”
“It’s great for looking for unique gifts,” added Naomi.
Laurie Williams, of Round Rock, creates handmade country gifts with her husband and daughters for her booth, Carembery Cottage.
“Since this has been our sixth year, I always love seeing customers come back who have bought from us,” she said. “I love that all the proceeds from this event go back to the community.”
This is one of the club’s largest fundraising events of the year. The club has given away as much as $42,000 annually in community outreach grants and student scholarships, including local groups like the Coryell County Rainbow Room, the Coryell County Child Welfare Board, the Copperas Cove Soup Kitchen, Pink Warrior Angels, Operation Homefront, the Fort Hood USO, Texas A&M University Central Texas Food Pantry, Heritage House of Central Texas, Semper Fi Fund, Food Care Center Killeen, Quilts of Valor, Santa’s Workshop, Dogs on Deployment and the Bell County Child Warfare Board.
The club also gives to the Fort Hood Area Military Family Member Scholarship Fund, designated for student scholarships.
The club is slated to hold its 37th annual Holiday Bazaar on Nov. 10 and 11, 2018.