By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – “Cookie’s Thanksgiving needs your help,” Other Options executive director Mary Arbuckle posted on Facebook. “I’m raising money for Thanksgiving to help feed 1000 adult and kids living with HIV/AIDS and your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps,” she said. “Thank you for your support.”
Mary’s mother, Cookie Arbuckle founded Other Options and Friends Food Pantry in 1988. The Friends Food Pantry is preparing for their 19th Annual Cookie’s Thanksgiving Day Delivery of holiday meals to individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS.
Each year a crew of dedicated volunteers help to provide over 1000 free dinners throughout the Oklahoma City metro area and Norman on Thanksgiving Day.
The Friends Food Pantry is the only free food source in the 405 and 580 area codes for the HIV population in Oklahoma.
The Friends Food Pantry provides nutrient dense food, nutrition formula, and toiletries to over 1,200 adults and children able to shop monthly. A delivery program for home bound and bed fast individuals/families that provides food baskets and easy to prepare meals is also in place at Other Options.
The organization also participates in the HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS) Program, which was created by HUD to address the needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families. Other Options also provides prevention education to the metro community.
To answer Mary’s plea, donations can be delivered or mailed to Other Options, Inc, 3636 NW 51st St., Oklahoma City, OK 73112, or be made online. For more information, call 405-506-8020.
On Saturday, October 20, the 2nd annual Black & White Party benefiting Other Options will be held at the Oklahoma City Farmers Market, 311 S. Klein, from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. The event is hosted by Lonnie Green, Anita Crites Milam, Paula Love, Kristen Meeks Davis, Deanna Cardenas and Mark Arbuckle.
The evening is inspired by Truman Capote’s 1966 Black & White Ball. The dress is “fun formal.” Black and/or white 1960’s attire, including marks and tiaras is encouraged.
“Guys don’t forget the Black & White Party special at Men’s Wearhouse. $40 off tux rental and 40 percent off any purchase,” Lonnie Green posted on Facebook. “Just tell them you’re going to The Black & White Party and use the code #8153982 to receive your discount.”
Next month, Other Options’ 7th Annual Bar Wars fundraiser will take place Saturday, Nov. 3rd from 7 – 11:45 p.m., on the lower level of the Oklahoma City Farmers Market.
Bar Wars – Game On will feature approximately 15 bartenders from local venues competing to win the honors of “Best Signature Cocktail” and “Best Flair Service. Between sips, attendees can feast on offerings from local restaurants, dance, and pick up items at the silent auction and raffle tables featuring original artwork, furniture, and gift packages from local salons and spas
The evening will feature an adult twist on interactive games such as Twister, Candy Land, Operation, and Monopoly. The Studio On Site photo booth will be taking party pics throughout the evening.
Bar Wars is supported by The Cresap Family Foundation and Success Vodka.
General admission cost $50 with sponsorships starting at $250. For more information, contact David Rackley at [email protected].