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Penny Spent, Penny Earned For The Croton Falls Ladies Auxiliary

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – The Croton Falls Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary held its traditional penny social fundraiser on Saturday at the firehouse.

Kathy Magnuson, ladies auxiliary treasurer, explained how it works. People donate items throughout the year and the auxiliary puts these on display at the penny social. When people arrive, they buy tickets at the door, each ticket costs a penny.

“There are 25 tickets on a card, four cards for a dollar,” Magnuson said. “Most people spend about $5. Then you walk around and look at all of the things that are on the tables and when you see something you like, you put a ticket in the jar.”

At the end of the night, they call out each item and pull a winning ticket from the jar. “It works like a raffle,” she said. In addition, there were sweepstakes tickets for donations such as gift certificates from Who’s Cooking? and the Katonah Restaurant. There was also a 50/50 raffle and door prize. 

Meanwhile dozens of people sat around big round tables eating chili, hot dogs and desserts, drinking coffee, playing cards, chatting and waiting for the numbers to be called.

Karen Roach, receiver of taxes for North Salem and a member of the ladies auxiliary, said, “It’s a nice local night out. Good friends. Good laughs. Casual, relaxed and warm.”

“I don’t know how long we’ve been doing this,” Magnuson said. “I can’t remember not doing it.”

Her daughter, Rebecca Piccini, vice-president of the ladies auxiliary, said, “I’ve been coming to the penny social since I was born. I’m 31 now.”

Piccini noted, “It’s getting more popular. There’s more and more stuff and more and more people.”

“We’ve never raised the price,” Magnuson said.

Magnuson’s mother, Betty Adams, 88, is the longest standing member of the auxiliary. She has been involved since 1953.

The three generations of women agreed, however, that Adams is not the oldest member.

Click here to see many more photos from the penny social.

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