Cookie and Scotty’s Thanksgiving is an annual event that feeds over 1000 in-need individuals on Thanksgiving day through at-home deliveries. Meals include smoked turkey, honey ham, stuffing, turkey gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, and of course- PIE!!!! Every $8 donated helps us provide a Thanksgiving meal for a family in OKC impacted by HIV/ AIDS. Make your tax-deductible donation today.
“At the end of the 90’s I had just opened Scotty’s Restaurant in Nichols Hills Plaza. That was an exciting time in my life and it was also a very sad time. A week before Thanksgiving I lost a very special friend in my life from complications of AIDS. Eric and I met a few years before on a very lonely Thanksgiving day while I was in culinary school in Rhode Island. I wasn’t going home for Thanksgiving because I was a bad ass 22-year-old claiming independence. Eric was a 19-year-old at Rhode Island School of Design, recently diagnosed with HIV, and was told by his family in Washington not to come home.
When I received a phone call at Scotty’s from Eric’s mother that he had passed from Pneumonia, I remembered that Thanksgiving we spent together as strangers in a bar eating cheese sticks and sharing family stories… and how being alone on Thanksgiving wasn’t so bad at that moment. We were each other’s friends and family by the time we parted ways. Remembering all of that is when I knew I wanted to help others who might be alone or not welcome home during the holidays.
Thanks to my friend Jim Roth who was president of the Winds House at the time, and who I was told to get ahold of, I offered up my services to cook Thanksgiving dinner for the residents of the Winds House. The next year I wanted to do more and Jim suggested I get in touch with the fascinating, energetic, compassionate, go-getter named Cookie Arbuckle at Other Options. Her exact words in that breathy high high-pitched voice and without hesitation was “You wanna do what?? Oh my gosh.. yes!” So off we ran.
Every year after it was Cookie, Mary, Myself, and a handful of volunteers meeting up at Scotty’s Restaurant early Thanksgiving morning, cutting pies, breaking up in teams, dishing up the delivery meals, and heading out to let some fine people know… We see you, we know you, we care about you, and you are not alone on Thanksgiving.
After I sold Scotty’s Robert Painter in his constant giving way, and Mary took the reigns of Other Options after Cookie’s passing and being just as hard-working…dedicated… compassionate as her mother Cookie, took these meals and made them an Oklahoma City Thanksgiving tradition. Ideally, as I said every year, I look forward to a day where there are people who do not need these meals, but unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. “Cookie’s Thanksgiving” will send out an estimated 1000 meals this year. They could really use your help.
If you are able, if you are inspired, if you recognize that we are all our brother and sister’s keeper, please do what you can to help. Donate your time, donate food items, donate whatever funds you can spare to help Cookie’s Thanksgiving and the hundreds of volunteers who help out every year, and show a little love to the men, women, children and families living with HIV/AIDS in the Oklahoma City and surrounding cities area. I’m thankful for you and for the great team of volunteers with Cookie’s Thanksgiving.” – Scotty