Ramstein Bazaar Gives Back
We understand that dollar amounts don’t truly explain the impact that the Bazaar funds have on our military community. So every year we like to highlight a few beneficiaries and their stories. If you or your organization have received funds from the Ramstein Officers’ Spouses Club and would like to share your own story with us, please contact our Communications Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the most EXCITING contributions that the Ramstein Bazaar funds are able to offer the Kaiserslautern Military Community is $100,000 in scholarships for 2019! Together with the Ramstein Enlisted Spouses Association (RESA) and the Kaiserslautern-Landstuhl Spouses Association (KLSA), a total of $143,750 for 96 scholarships were awarded to local students and spouses to further their educational goals. Recipients included 66 graduating high school students, 18 university students, and 12 spouses. The scholarships ranged in value from $250 to $4,000.
Days of Remembrance
On November 1, 1978, President Jimmy Carter established the President's Commission on the Holocaust and charged it with the responsibility to submit a report "with respect to the establishment and maintenance of an appropriate memorial to those who perished in the Holocaust." Every year since the commission the US Air Force at Ramstein have held an event in order to respect those that perished in the Shoah and to educate the community.
In 2019, the Days of Remembrance event had the honor of hosting Eve Kugler, a child survivor of the Holocaust. Eve was born in Germany and just seven years old in 1938 when Kristallnacht – the night of the broken glass – took place. Her family was torn apart by the Nazis, with her parents sent to concentration camps and her youngest sister sent into hiding. Through funds provided by ROSC, which are raised through the Ramstein Bazaar, distinguished speakers such as Eve Kugler are provided necessary accommodations to make the trip and share their first hand experiences with the KMC. Funding for speakers covers all transportation, meals, and hotel expenses for the duration of the event, without which would make the travel for these distinguished speakers impractical. Attendees at this event include military enlisted, officers, civilians and students as well as invited guest from the surrounding communities in Rheinland Pfalz or neighboring states. In fact, this year was the biggest turn out with more than 650 attendees!
Friends of Africa Volunteers with the 435th AEW in Djibouti, Africa
ROSC funds raised by the Ramstein Bazaar are currently being used to help build a soccer field and supply sports equipment for a Special Needs Academy (SNA) in Djibouti, Africa by Friends of Africa Volunteers (FAV) with the 435th Air Expeditionary Wing. Djibouti has few schools that cater to children with special needs and disabilities, especially in the countryside away from the city where schools like this can receive government support/endorsement. While this field is only for students during the school day, after school hours the field is open to the whole community as a central focal point of the town. This mission has proved to be a great opportunity for personnel deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa to experience the Djiboutian culture while also improving locals' views of US Forces there. In fact, it has already been briefed by the Air Force Wing Commander as having made a huge impact on relations between the 435th AEW (based here at Ramstein Air Base) and the local community in Djibouti.
13 FAV Volunteers, 2 members of Religious Affairs, and 10 Leaders/ Teachers from the Special Needs Academy were able to participate in a Muslim Cultural Exchange known as an IFTAR. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunup to sundown and an IFTAR (or Fatoor) is the customary “breaking of the fast” which is followed by the call to prayer and then the evening meal. After the meal and cultural exchange was complete, a representative from both FAV and the SNA expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to share this experience. This event strengthened the bond of friendship and trust between FAV and the Special Needs Academy and FAV was invited to attend a follow up special dinner event in the near future.
KAISERSLAUTERN KINGFISH SWIM TEAM
A whopping 75 Kingfish swimmers from across the Kaiserslautern Military Community were able attend the European Forces Swim League Championship meet in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Swimmers from ages 6 – 18 participated in 359 races with one swimmer earning two European Forces League Records in the 50 Freestyle and 50 Butterfly.
The European Forces Swim League is made up of teams from 17 different locations across Europe. Swimming for KMC kids is not a Community Youth or High School sponsored sport, so funds to swim at Championship meets like this are paid for through fundraising and parent contributions exclusively. Swimmers train from late August through February each year in preparation for the Championship meet. Through hard work and dedication, the Kingfish swimmers become more fit, have fun, and have the opportunity to meet new swimmers and their families from across Europe. European Forces Swim League - "touring Europe pool by pool" - thanks to funds raised by the Ramstein Bazaar and procured through the Ramstein Officers' Spouses' Club Welfare Committee!
With the help and support of the Ramstein Officers Spouse Club, 42 high school students from Ramstein had the opportunity to have the "Best week of their life!" at a Young Life camp in Scotland. Military teenage dependents from Club Beyond groups on installations in Germany, Italy and England joined together for a week of fun activities, challenging and encouraging messages, family style meals and team building all in the breathtaking scenery of the Scottish Highlands at Cairn Brae in Crieff, Scotland.
Club Beyond® is the name used by MCYM to identify its ministry with military high school and middle school aged kids worldwide. Club Beyond staff and volunteers love young people and are available to journey with them through the hard challenges of adolescence, providing positive role models and exhibiting Christ-like behavior. Club Beyond Staff are vocational youth workers recruited from across the U.S.A., usually from the ranks of Young Life.
For more information visit clubbeyond.org
Tyndall Air Force Base
On Oct. 10th, 2018, Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle and the eye of the storm was centered directly over Tyndall Air Force Base. Every structure on the base was damaged and by May of 2019 all homes were still uninhabitable with schools completely unusable. Families literally lost everything they owned. Some of the dorms were reopened so many of the younger airmen were able to move from the tents they were living in since the storm to actual dorm rooms. Many of the commanders live in travel trailers in Fam Camp -- some with their families but most are now geo-bachelors. Tyndall is a huge base with significant strategic operations. It’s effectively a city, with 4,500 airmen in the 325th Fighter Wing, known as the Checkertails.
ROSC funds were sent to the Tyndall Spouses' Club (TSC) to help with relief efforts. Some of these funds were used to purchase 352 jackets as part of the "Share the Warmth" fundraiser reaching children across 6 school districts impacted by the storm. Funds were also used as a relief effort for airmen through the Operation Warm Heart program helping local Airmen and their families by providing quick, crisis averting support in times of emergency and financial strife
ROSC is incredibly grateful to be able to help out a sister organization in such a terrible time. Thanks to the support of the KMC and the Ramstein Bazaar, we are able to be there for our military families across the globe.
The Kaiserslautern Crush basketball program provides young women in the KMC the opportunity to get training and participate in basketball games and tournaments across Europe. The program operates in two phases; the training phase from September to November provides individual training and conditioning in preparation for the high school and Child Youth Services' fall seasons. The spring phase from March to June establishes U19 and U16 basketball teams that compete in basketball tournaments across Europe. Over its first three seasons, 50 young women have trained and participated in the program and in basketball tournaments in Berlin, Belgium, Frankfurt, and Austria. Kaiserslautern Crush has even gained collegiate basketball exposure for some of their athletes with one signing a college scholarship this year.
The Crush program has now partnered with professional basketball trainers at Fab 5 Find-a-Way Athletics Center in Ramstein to provide their athletes with greater training resources and basketball skills instructions. It will also be the home basketball court for training and exhibition basketball games.
Thanks to the the financial donation from the Ramstein Officers' Spouses' Club, the program was able to pay for attendance at tournaments and to buy additional basketball training resources. Those funds, combined with other funds raised in the community, Crush basketball had their biggest season yet. The heightened visibility has led to more interest from girls and parents in the community and beneficial relationships such as that with Fab 5 Athletics.
For more information, see our Facebook page at Crush Basketball Club of Kaiserslautern.
U.S. Youth Soccer – Europe, KMC District Soccer Club
US Youth Soccer – Europe provides an unparalleled, developmental, yet competitive soccer experience for U.S. youth soccer players in the KMC. They have also helped foster positive community relationships between U.S. and local national youth. And now, when the winter months get too cold to play outside, soccer continues on to the indoors! The number of youth players and different age groups means they must spread out the players across the KMC area at several indoor facilities. Funds from the Ramstein Bazaar allowed them to secure rental fees for these indoor facilities. This allows the youth to continue play indoors, in a safe and suitable environment giving them 3 more months of soccer.
US Youth Soccer – Europe is the ONLY U.S. Soccer club playing soccer in the German leagues, with a coaching staff that includes former professional, English speaking, German players and UEFA-licensed coaches who foster physical, mental, and emotional development for youth players. For more information visit their website at: https://prosocacademy.com/locations/kmc/ or follow them on Facebook.
Vogelweh Cub Scouts
This year is the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing at Normandy. To commemorate, the Pack 69 Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts decided to put together a huge campout where the scouts could travel around to all the historic locations and learn what D-Day was really about.
With ROSC funds raised by the Ramstein Bazaar, the scouts were able to pay for the bus that drove most of the scouts and their families there and back. Having bus transportation allowed more people to join the trip while also providing a safe alternative since this was an overnight drive.
This was a very memorable trip for the scouts and a great way to actively engage with history making it both educational and fun. For more information about Pack 69, you can visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/739806699482569/