Feeding the hungry Lions, Lioness chef gives up apron
MONTGOMERY – For sixty-three years, the Montgomery Lions Club has been serving the community. They are well-known for their sauerkraut, charitable work, and the annual Egg Hunt which has been part of the Easter tradition for many Montgomery families for at least three generations. They have also been fixtures in many town parades over the years.
For nearly half of the organization’s existence, Elaine Kobbe has fed the members of the Montgomery Lions Club. Kobbe decided to hang up her oven mitts after thirty years of cooking for the club’s twice-monthly meetings.
The Lions Club wasn’t about to let her service go unnoticed, and on June 13 they honored her at their monthly meeting. Her husband, Norm Kobbe, who is currently serving as the Lions Club President wrote a poem about her devotion to the Lions Club and read it to the members. The Lions thanked her for cooking over six hundred meals since 1988. She received warm words of thanks and appreciation and a heartfelt standing ovation.
Elaine said that in thirty years she has seen new members join the club, and sadly, some have passed away. She said, “A lot of people come and go, it’s always hard to see someone go. It’s been a close-knit club the whole time I’ve cooked.”
Before Elaine took over the cooking duties, she assisted her friend June Wagner who cooked for the Lions Club from 1972 to 1988.
Elaine was a charter member of the Montgomery Lioness Club that began in 1985, and she stayed with the organization for twenty-six years before it disbanded.
Norm Kobbe said that the Montgomery Lions Club is now a singular club. On the days that she would cook for the club, Elaine would spend most of the afternoon cooking in the kitchen of the Montgomery Lions Club Hall. She usually prepared the desserts the night before.
Not only was she concerned with cooking delicious food for the club members, she had to be mindful of the meal budget. The cost of groceries came from the Lions Club members’ dues, and not donations.
Kobbe was fortunate to have a kitchen committee to help her with set up and clean up. Her daughter, Stephanie Winder, often stopped by after work to help clean the kitchen. Elaine said that the members were always willing to help.
Of all the different dinners she has prepared over the years, Elaine said the most-loved was probably her beef potpie which she made from scratch. It was a dish that involved a lot of hard work because one batch took ten pounds of flour and she rolled and cut the noodles by hand.
Elaine said the most rewarding thing about her time cooking for the club was the appreciation of the members.
One Lion said that for some of them, Elaine Kobbe’s meals were the best they had the entire week.