AUBURN | The Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars does much more than forge sister-like friendships.

The organization's members work to fight cancer, encourage expression through writing and raise money for scholarships. But above all, members of the Ladies Auxiliary work to stand by the United States' veterans and their families.

Now 215-member strong, members of the Auburn branch of the Ladies Auxiliary — designated Post 1975 — spend their time volunteering at local VFW centers and at city hall.

But on Saturday, the ladies took a dinner break from their life of volunteering to celebrate a special occasion: the Auburn Ladies Auxiliary's 75th birthday.

Sitting around decorated tables set up in the National Guard Armory's banquet room on South Street, the women — many with spouses — sipped on a punch and munched on cheese as they caught up with their fellow members.

While waiting for dinner to be served, Barbara Griffin buzzed around the room, helping guests get situated.

As a 56-year-old member of Post 1975, Griffin said she was pleased to see organization still strong after 75 years.

"I'm very happy about it," she said.

Patty Sinsabaugh, chair of Post 1975, agreed.

"It's a wonderful occasion," she said. "We're so appreciative."

Jackie Herbert, deputy chaplain for the Ladies Auxiliary, said that although the Auburn branch of the organization remains hardy, the organization as a whole is having trouble finding new recruits.

Through celebrating milestones and promoting the organization's volunteer opportunities, Herbert said the national Ladies Auxiliary hopes to keep its organization thriving and helping veterans.

But the important part of Saturday afternoon's dinner, Herbert said, was celebrating Post 1975's longevity.

"Seventy five years — I think that's just wonderful," she said, smiling at the people-filled room. " You just don't see that anymore."

Staff writer Samantha House can be reached at 282-2282 or samantha.house@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at Citizen_House.

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