It started with a Breast Cancer Awareness initiative, then a Thanksgiving dinner for the less fortunate, and will culminate with a Christmastime trip to Riley Hospital for Children to deliver donated toys. It truly has been the season of giving at Scotty’s.
“I am so proud of my employees, our community, our purveyors and vendors who have all helped contribute to all these efforts,” said Scott Wise, President and CEO of a Pots and Pans Production. “I am very blessed to be in the position I am in and believe it is my responsibility to motivate others to do good in our society and give back to all our communities that so proudly support us. I believe it is a social responsibility of success that you share this by reaching back and grabbing the hands of those that are less fortunate, clasp hands tightly and give someone a lift up."
Community philanthropy has been a core focal point of Scotty's company vision, mission and company culture. The company asks management, staff and even guests to volunteer time every 2 months to "doing good" in their respective communities. And, Wise is always leading the charge. This past summer, the Pots & Pans team helped pack meals for Kids Against Hunger with Northview Church, helped Habitat for Humanity build a house in Indianapolis and donated money from their opening night at their newest restaurant in Southport, on the south side of Indianapolis, to Back on My Feet, an advocacy group for the homeless, and the Wheeler Mission.
October kicked off with an initiative to raise money for breast cancer awareness. For the last two years, Scotty’s has partnered with the Pink Ribbon Connection in this effort. During the month of October, Scotty’s sells special pint glasses for $3 that display the Pink Ribbon, donating all proceeds to the Pink Ribbon Connection. This year alone, Scotty’s restaurants raised and donated more than $1,500.
“I think everyone has had someone in their life that has been affected by Breast Cancer,” said Wendy Hantelman, CFO of a Pots and Pans Production. “This is a great way to help raise awareness and extend the opportunity to get involved and make a difference to our guests.”
Next on the schedule was the third annual Thanksgiving dinner at Scotty’s Brewhouse Indianapolis downtown location. This event has evolved over the last few years to not only include dinner for the less fortunate but toys for the kids as well as gift cards for the adults. All of these items are donated by guests, local businesses and employees. The attendance for this event has doubled every year, with this past year hosting approximately 200 adults and children.
“We wouldn’t be able to pull this off without the support from our guests and local businesses,” commented Brandi Large, Director of Guest and Staff Relations, who coordinated this event. “This year, we had $2,500 donated in cash at all our restaurants from guests, as well as $450 from Target, $100 from Toys 'R Us and discounted gift cards from Marsh Supermarkets.”
The turkey initiative was new this year and proved to be a huge success. Guests could choose to purchase a $1 or $5 paper turkey, place their name on it and then it would be hung on the walls of the restaurants. The money from these sales was then used to buy toys for the children attending the event as well as gift cards to Marsh for the adults.
“I always try to make it more than just serving dinner to the people that come in to dine with us,” continued Wise. “I want them to feel like they are taking a break from the situations that they are dealing with, if only for a few hours. I want them to smile, laugh, enjoy great food and be served and remember that they are important in this world and that there are lots of people that are out there that care about them. And, for the children, this may be the only gift they receive during the holidays, so I always make sure we give 2 or 3. We also provide the adults with a $20 gift card to Marsh Supermarkets.”
Over 200 people were bussed in from Stop Over, Salvation Army, Catholic Charity Refugee Program and Brookside Church. They were treated to a buffet of Thanksgiving turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, rolls and more donated by Sysco Foodservice. Pepsi donated soft drinks. To top it all off, desserts were donated by Taylor’s Bakery, a local bakery with two locations in Indianapolis.
Click here to see more pictures from the Thanksgiving Event
All the food preparation, set up and service are provided by employees and guests who give the gift of their time to help make a difference. From wrapping gifts, to preparing the turkey and boxing up leftovers, it all happens from people who chose to donate their time. This year, over 100 people gave some of their time to help with the event. One person, Rebecca Kormos, donated 125 sets of hats, gloves, and scarves that she hand-knitted for each child, while another, Linda Hantelman, made and donated 35 baby blankets.
“I had an employee tell me one year, ‘If everyone would just donate a few hours of their time, it would be amazing what we could accomplish,’’’ Wise remembered. “I think the effect this has on the volunteers can be just as great or even greater in the impact upon their lives. Some of our employees bring their children to even teach them some lessons in the true spirit of giving, humility and thanks. I love this. And, I really hope that it has a snowball effect in their community involvement all year long.”
Once the event wrapped up, there was still food left so members of the Scotty’s team, who donated their time to help with the event, delivered the extras to local organizations. The Ronald McDonald House, IU Medical Krannert Department (hospital downtown, floor 7) and Riley Hospital for Children were a few of the places who received the food. Area pastors also took food out to deliver to homeless people living under bridges and underpasses.
Katie Landes, a nursing intern at in the Krannert department tweeted, “Thanks Scotty's brewhouse for bringing a complete thanksgiving dinner to our unit as a random act of kindness. Krannert ❤s you!”
Now that Thanksgiving has passed, Scotty’s is preparing to deliver toys to the children at Riley Hospital for Children in December. Over the last month, guests could come into any Scotty’s location, donate a toy and receive a free order of Dill Chips. On December 10th, all toys will be transported to the Scotty’s corporate office to be delivered to Riley by members of the Scotty’s team, led again by Scott in his charge to make people smile, even while in a little pain.
If you would like to make a donation, some of the favorite toys for children are Legos, craft kits and anything Fisher Price. You can also visit Riley's website for information as to other ways to give back financially, donate items to the hospital, and volunteer your time.
"Some children are here for 23 hours, some are here for a few days, others can be here a month or longer. Often, children are here for a few days, but may be readmitted several times throughout their life,” said Melissa Sexton, Child Life Specialist & Special Event Coordinator for Riley Hospital for Children.
"The patients and their families make my job amazing. They all have such a resilient spirit and face challenges head on. I love being able to provide opportunities for them to feel "normal" again.”
If you would like to donate a toy, please visit any Scotty's Brewhouse, Lakehouse, Thr3e Wise Men or Burger Joint location. Just let the host know you have a toy you would like to donate. But, hurry, we need them by December 7.