Brooks Helps Raise Funds for Fire Victims

Tuesday was a day of firsts for Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks.

Brooks was at the Bricktown Brewery in downtown Oklahoma City serving as a guest bartender. He said he’s never bartended, let alone mixed a drink.

“Usually my wife puts me in charge of dishwashing,” Brooks said. “I’m not one to bartend, but it’s for a great cause.”

Brooks was there to help raise money for the fire victims of East Oklahoma County.

He was approached with the idea by Bricktown Rotary president-elect Peter Fulmer, whose son attends the same Edmond school as Brooks’ daughter. The two families also live in the same neighborhood.

“I literally run into him at school and I said, ‘I need you! And I said, ‘Can you do this for us?’ ” Fulmer, 38, recalled. “And of course he was wonderfully gracious and said yes, he could. He just had to make sure he wasn’t swallowed up by duties at work, but we were lucky enough to get him and it’s a great deal. We’re thrilled.”

The idea was spawned by the East Oklahoma County Rotary Club, which put out a call requesting help for fire victims. Fulmer said that 54 homes were destroyed in the fires and there were numerous children who were in need. Fulmer got in touch with the Bricktown Brewery manager, who happened to be a member of the Bricktown Rotary Club, and a date was set.

“It was three phone calls and a lot of luck and we’re thrilled,” Fulmer said. “It’s turned out better than anyone could have expected.”

The Thunder also made a donation of $2,500 to the fire victims.

Brooks’ job, meanwhile, was to make sure the bar’s tip jar got filled. Mission accomplished.

Brooks arrived at the event shortly before it began, and spent time shaking hands and talking to rotary club members. He then spent an hour tending bar, where he served up everything from whiskey sodas and Jager bombs to margaritas with salted rims.

Suffice it to say, Brooks wasn’t flipping bottles and mixing drinks a la Tom Cruise in “Cocktail,” but he kept up with the drink orders – and kept the tips coming.

Brooks said that Tuesday’s event was a perfect example of how the Thunder wants to imbed itself in the community.

“Being new to this community, we wanted to establish a couple of things – that’s playing hard and being involved in our community,” he said. “Our general manager, Sam Presti, brings in high-character guys. They’re good guys to coach and they’re good guys off the floor and they believe in our community and we’re happy that people ask us to be a part of it. It gives us an opportunity to give back. It’s devastating what happened to the people of Oklahoma with the fires. It’s just our small way of giving back and helping out.”