It's beginning to look a lot like
Christmas......Christmas in July that is. For the last 5 years
Scotty's Brewhouse has been collecting toys for children who are at
Riley's Children's Hospital. While Christmas is a huge time for
donations the summer months can be challenging as the hospital
tries to give hope to the many children they are
"You know how you always
have that feeling around Christmas and Thanksgiving, when people
are helping others and embracing the spirit of giving, where you
find yourself saying, 'why can't we do this year round?" said Scott
Wise, President and CEO of a Pots and Pans Production. "I was tired
of thinking that way; but, not acting and doing something about
"Often the toys we bring, don't all get handed out during our
visit. A good thing for 2 reasons: 1) it means there
aren't a lot of children in the ward we are visiting, 2) they are
able to stock up their "toy closet" to help many months after we
leave to keep the children's smiles coming…"
For the entire month of June all Scotty's locations will begin
accepting donations of toys that will be delivered to the hospital
in July. Guests who donate a toy will receive a coupon for a free
order of dill chips on their next visit.
"Our guests are the ones that deserve a lot of
credit, as they are the ones that donate all the toys the month
leading up to us delivering. I wish I could share the smiles
from the children AND the parents, grandparents and others in the
room with all our guests that donate. If you would have heard
the 3 year old girls yell, 'Baaaaaaaarbie', you too would have had
a tear run down your cheek and you'd understand why I now do this
twice a year," said Wise reflecting on his experience delivering
gifts this past Christmas.
While the average stay at Riley varies with each
child and their diagnosis a simple toy can give them hope and make
their time in the hospital a little better.
"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.
At the end of June all the toys will be combined and
a group of employees from Scotty's will deliver them to some of the
children in the hospital. Any toys that are left over will be
stored at the hospital and given out to future patients.
"It is an incredible experience to be one of the
people who deliver these toys," said Eric Schamp, Chief Operating
Officer. "We didn't want to just drop these off at the door and go
on our way, we wanted to hand deliver these to help show these
young children that someone cares."
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 there are ways
to give back financially, ways to donate items to the hospital, and
information about volunteering at the hospital.
"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," continued Sexeton.
If you would like to drop off a toy you can 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
To get more information about employment and to start
the application process, visit /contact-scottys/employment/.
Dining at Chicago's trendiest restaurants, third row seats to
the Cub's game, open bar at the city's hottest club. Sounds like
the life a rock star, but that is just what 50 Scotty's managers
and executives got to experience this past weekend as Scotty took
his team to the National Restaurant Association Trade show.
The days may be informative, but at night is where the real fun
begins. This year's trip included dinners at Revolution Brewery and
Rockit Burger Bar, cocktails at the Public House and Rockit Bar and
Grill, but the highlight of the event was the Cubs game where
Scotty threw out the first pitch.
"Having my wife, kids, parents, sisters, 40 top management and
50 more guests/employees get to witness a "Field of Dreams" memory
like that made it even more special," said Scotty Wise, President
& CEO of a Pots & Pans Production restaurant management
company for Scotty's concepts.
"As incredible as it was, I'm so glad it is over. I've had
so many sleepless nights and messages from friends, 'do not throw
the ball in the dirt, get it across the plate,' over the past
month, it was nice to get a full nights sleep finally."
The Chicago trip is an added benefit of working at Scotty's and
costs the company nearly $40,000. Those attending do not have to
pay for anything on the trip unless they decided to do something
outside of the agenda. Wise believes these types of team building
trips are well worth the cost.
"The most important part of that weekend was for our management
team to spend time together outside our restaurants. I know
it is cliché; but, it is 100% about the journey, not the
destination. And, the "working hard," makes the "playing hard" all
part of the journey equation that I believe in. My management team
is my family. Our blood, sweat and tears are in everything we
do for this company. And, at the end of the day, the culture
of this company is the most important part of our survival, it
cannot be trained or taught, it has to be learned, lived and
absorbed thru weekends like that."
Other employees agree.
"Being able to socialize and spend time getting to know our
teammates better during the events we have scheduled outside of
time spent in educational sessions and on the show floor is such an
incredible experience and a unique opportunity that our company
provides," reflected Rachel Redwine-Nelson, Chief Branding Officer.
"The memories that we create with each other will last a lifetime
and go a long way toward developing and maintaining the awesome
sense of camaraderie and family that Scott's company is so well
"It was a great experience! It's not often you have an
opportunity to spend time with your co-workers and really get to
know them outside of our normal working environment. We were
able to relax and enjoy ourselves and strengthen our team in the
process," said Kim Lewandowski, Welcome Team Coordinator.
To all the photos from this year's trip. Click here.
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