INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Thanksgiving dinner at Scotty’s Brewhouse is a relatively new tradition. This is just the fifth year that the downtown restaurant has served a free holiday meal.
Kay Johnson was among the 300 people in line for a buffet that included both turkey and ham. For Johnson, every day has been a tough one since her husband died last month, but Thanksgiving is tougher.
When asked what she would be doing if she weren’t at Scotty’s she said, “Sitting at home, just sitting there by myself because it was just me and him.”
She came with a group of 50 or so who live in the Brookside neighborhood. Pastor David Cederquist put the group together but says it would have happened without him.
“We would have found a way to be together,” he said, “but because of Scotty we were able to be together in his restaurant, eating his food, and it’s a wonderful opportunity.”
Among the volunteers dishing out the food was restaurant owner Scott Wise.
“A day like today when we can help lots of people,” he said, “it’s something we should do.”
Wise raised money from customers and received donations from suppliers to help make the dinner possible. His employees and others volunteered to do the work.
Children were given toys and homeless people received a card with $10 in it. And 100 meals were delivered to the Ronald McDonald House.
For homeless veteran John Lamb, who says he’s living in a tent on the river, it was Scotty’s or cold cuts.
When asked if this holiday matters to him, Lamb said, “Yeah, of course it does. I’m thankful for even being here right now.”
And so is Wise, who survived a brain tumor a while back. He says the gratitude from Lamb, Johnson and the others is his reward.
“You leave here,” he said, “and you want to do it every day.”
But he’ll go back to selling burgers so he can keep doing it one day a year.