LEONGATHA’S Woorayl Lodge aged care residence marked a special occasion on Thursday, with the Woorayl Lodge Auxiliary notching up its half-century.

Auxiliary members celebrated the 50th anniversary with cake at the local Girl Guides hall, making efficient use of the gathering by incorporating the celebrations into the organisation’s AGM.

One auxiliary member has been there pretty much the entire journey, with Jenny Haw into her 50th year as a Woorayl Lodge Auxiliary volunteer.

Over the years, Jenny’s cooking and baking have been revered, with her snowball production a famous fundraising activity.

She did a tremendous job organising other auxiliary volunteers, coordinating the snowball production operation to ensure efficiency and a delicious and attractive outcome guaranteed to sell in large numbers.

Woorayl Lodge general manager, Barry Westhorpe, paid tribute to the current crop of auxiliary volunteers for their ongoing commitment to improving the lives of lodge residents.

Barry spoke of selflessness, passion, and caring, saying all are attributes he associates with the 24-member-strong Woorayl Lodge Auxiliary.

“Our main aim is to enhance the living areas of Woorayl Lodge,” auxiliary president Kaye Warren said.

She explained that most auxiliary members joined to give something back for the wonderful care shown to family members at the lodge.

Raffles are an important part of the auxiliary’s fundraising, with separate draws held for significant dates such as Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

“All the auxiliary gets involved and they’re just wonderful people,” Kaye said.

A November fete is usually a major driver of the auxiliary’s fundraising success, but has been unable to be held the past couple of years.

That has done nothing to deter auxiliary members who have maintained a positive outlook and continued to do what they can to generate funds.

On Thursday, the Woorayl Lodge Auxiliary presented a cheque for $2700 to cover the annual cost of floral arrangements that brighten up lodge residents’ surrounds.

The industrious auxiliary group has previously paid for the refurbishment of the lodge’s dining room and for the furnishing of Fairbank Cottage, the home’s memory support facility.

The auxiliary has also assisted with the purchase of new kitchen appliances for Woorayl Lodge.

An impressive sculpture will soon take pride of place at the front of the lodge, an initiative organised and funded by the auxiliary, with the Sentinel-Times to provide an update soon.

Woorayl Lodge marked its 60th anniversary in 2020 and its residents continue to benefit from the generosity of auxiliary members and the broader local community who make fundraising efforts a success.