Lillie Payne, owner-operator of Tom’s Cabin, is the most generous contributor to the two veterans’ organizations in Gem County. She does it primarily through her annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration featuring traditional corned beef and cabbage with cake for dessert. This year happened to be the 7th annual iteration of the event—and seven is always a charm, in this case, a magically delicious one.
Lillie presented an $1809.00 check recently to Anthony Muggy Hafen, commander of Emmett’s VFW Post 4900 for that post and the American Legion’s Post 49. The check constitutes their share of the proceeds after costs for the dinners.
This year’s event saw a record nine briskets sold out by 5:00 p.m., yet people kept coming. Without skipping a beat, Lillie simply substituted her regionally famous chicken fried steak as the day’s special, and although the business normally closes at 8:00 p.m., Lillie and her staff served patrons until 9:00 p.m.
Commander Hafen noted that with eight VFW members and five American Legion members alternating at the event throughout the day, Post leadership saw firsthand how generous Lillie’s patrons are in coming to the annual event and, in turn, how it allows Lillie to return that generosity to the local veterans’ posts.
“Our Christmas gifts to the shut-in veterans in the area have gotten much more robust since Lillie Payne and Tom’s Cabin started their annual dinners for us,” commented Commander Hafen. “We very much appreciate all Lillie and her staff do for veterans. They make our job so much easier.”