By Dave Smith
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colorado — In his first public task wearing new rank, Brig. Gen. John Shaw, 21st Space Wing commander, cut the ribbon marking the relocation of the Peterson AFB Thrift Shop June 5.
“I hear generals do this all the time,” Shaw said. “Thanks to the volunteers that make the thrift shop happen… we are able to give out a lot of scholarships,” from the shop’s profits.
“We wanted to do the ribbon cutting with Brig. Gen. Shaw since he had such a big part in getting it done,” said Rhonda Chozinski, president of the Peterson, Schriever, and Cheyenne Mountain Spouses’ Club which operates the facility.
The new location of the Thrift Shop is in building 1525, across from the R.P. Lee Youth Center next to the Airman’s Attic. The Airman’s Attic and Loan Locker will not be affected by the move and will remain in their present locations.
The primary reason for the move is because the former location in building 615 is being demolished for safety reasons, Chozinski said. The shop closed in preparation for the move at the end of May.
“It’s been in the works for five or six years and we finally got the go ahead,” she said.
In addition to a safer environment there are other benefits to the move, like a significant increase in available space. The former building measured 7,456 square feet compared to the new space which boasts 9,264 square feet. Work is ongoing leading up to the Aug. 4 grand opening, but the site is coming along at a satisfactory pace.
“Civil engineering has done an amazing job making it move in ready,” Chozinksi said.
Shaw acknowledged the group’s contribution in preparing the site for the upcoming grand opening.
“I want to say thanks to the CE folks who really turned this in a big way,” he said.
Another move-related change is the addition of a computer system to help in operating the store. Chozinski said adding the system will make life easier for book keepers and administration, as well as customers. For example, she said inventory and sales will be run on the new system, which up to now was done manually. Customers will be able to pull up a webpage to monitor donations and consignments as well.
“We spent a lot of time with the Air Force Academy thrift shop who runs this program too,” she said. “I am really excited to get up and running with this program.”
The store is run by volunteers, about 50 of them, according to Chozinski. All but two of them, including one 91-year-old woman, are retired military and family. After consignments are paid, profits from the thrift store go to charity organizations and provide scholarships for a variety of students. Chozinski said $11,000 went to those groups this year and about $14,000 is expected to be donated next year.
Donations can still be made at a drop box at the new location. Store hours are Tuesday — Friday 9 a.m.-noon for consignments and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. for sales. The shop will be open some Saturdays and is closed on Mondays. Consignments will again be accepted at a later date.