COTTONWOOD – Before she came to the Old Town Mission, Kellie Wilson was a stay-at-home mom. When she decided it was time to go back to work, Wilson found herself with two job opportunities.
One was the Old Town Mission in Cottonwood.
“I actually wanted the other job,” says Wilson, the Mission’s executive director. “But God had a plan.”
A graduate of Mingus Union High School, Wilson was born and raised in the Verde Valley. Each job Wilson has held has prepared her for the Mission’s endeavor to serve people.
“Ever since high school, I’ve been helping with projects like this,” she says.
At 11 a.m. Wednesday, the Old Town Mission will host its annual community Thanksgiving brunch. “We’ll cook about 20 turkeys,” Wilson estimates, along with the traditional green bean casserole, potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, rolls and assorted desserts, including pecan, lemon and chocolate pies.
“Afterward, we’ll also serve our volunteers,” Wilson says.
That’s right, serve. Normally, a hot meal at Old Mission is cafeteria-style, with diners in line greeted by servers. But for Thanksgiving, the Mission’s volunteers will serve “like a restaurant,” as a hostess will seat each person and waiters and waitresses, will greet each diner at their table and will bring them their meal,” as Wilson says, “make it special for them.”
“For some, it’s the only family they have,” Wilson says. “Some are usually alone.”
Wilson says that oftentimes, people “take for granted the human connection that people are missing out on.”
“That human connection of love, touch, the things that so many people don’t have,” Wilson says.
Wilson says that 18 percent of the folks who come to the Old Town Mission for a hot meal are homeless. Many of the others, she says, are elderly.
“And many of our volunteers are on a fixed income,” she says.
Old Town Mission will also serve a special Christmas brunch at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, with ham, turkey and all the trimmings.
For more information about the Old Town Mission, call 928- 634-7869. Or visit http://oldtownmission.org.
Old Town Mission is located at 116 East Pinal Street in Cottonwood.
Diners’ guide to a Happy Thanksgiving
An exhaustive but not complete list of places to find a hot, Thanksgiving meal
American Legion Post 93
Free Thanksgiving dinner for all Post 93 members, their guests – and any Veterans served from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Located at 286 S. Third St. in Camp Verde. More information, call (928) 567-6154.
Black Bear Diner
From 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Black Bear Diner will serve a traditional Thanksgiving dinner – turkey or ham – for $15.99 at its Cottonwood restaurant, located at 1041 SR 260 in Cottonwood.
Call (928) 634-8188 for more information.
Or visit https://blackbeardiner.com.
Cork and Catch
Cork and Catch will offer a variety of Thanksgiving dinner options, including the traditional turkey dinner, or prime rib.
Dinners start at $21 for the turkey, prime rib starts at $28. Call 928-649-2675 for more information or for meatless options.
Cork and Catch is open from 11 a.m. until close and is located at 1750 E. Villa Drive in Cottonwood. Call (928) 649-CORK (2675) for more information or to make a reservation. Reservations are recommended.
Denny’s offers a variety of Thanksgiving Day dining options. Visit https://www.dennys.com/food/featured/ or call 928-567-9505 for more information, or visit dennys.com.
Denny’s is located in Cottonwood at 2211 E. Cottonwood St. Call 928-639-3805 for more information, or in Camp Verde at 1630 SR 260, just east of the intersection at I-17.
Georgie’s has offered free Thanksgiving dinners for more than 20 years. With dinner served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Georgie’s Café is located at 517 N. 12 St. in Cottonwood. Call (928) 639-0751 for more information.
No reservation required. Georgie’s also offers to go orders at the back of the restaurant.
JT Bistro will offer a Thanksgiving buffet from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. JT Bistro is located at 348 S Main St. in Camp Verde.
Call 928-567-7520 for more information. Or visit https://www.jtbistro.com/thanksgiving.
Manzanita Restaurant, located at 11425 E. Cornville Road in Cornville, will serve the tradition Thanksgiving dinner, as well as other holiday specialties. Dinners start at $25. Reservations recommended. Call (928) 634-8851 for more information.
Or visit http://themanzanitarestaurant.com.
Mountain Springs Buffet
Starting at 10 a.m., Mountain Springs Buffet will offer an all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving buffet for $22.95.
Located at Cliff Castle Casino Hotel, 555 Middle Verde Road in Camp Verde. Call (928) 567-7900 for more information.
Or visit https://www.cliffcastlecasinohotel.com/dining/mountain-springs-buffet.
Old Town Mission
From 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, Old Town Mission will serve a free community Thanksgiving brunch. For more information, call (928) 634-7869. Old Town Mission is located at 116 E. Pinal St. in Cottonwood.
Enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner – or order off the regular menu. Cost for Thanksgiving dinner is $38. Reservations recommended. Served from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Located at Cliff Castle Casino Hotel, 555 Middle Verde Road in Camp Verde. Call (928) 567-7905 for more information or to make reservation.
Or visit https://www.cliffcastlecasinohotel.com/dining/storytellers.
On Thanksgiving, the Sedona Kirtan Yoga Community will sponsor its second free vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner. The Sedona Hub is located at 525B Posse Grounds Road in Sedona.
Call (928) 399-9853 for more information.