Catholic Charity for the Homeless Turns Down Money from Hooters

Jun 15, 2011 at 1:21 pm
St. Patrick doesn't want your money, ladies.
St. Patrick doesn't want your money, ladies.
Apparently, money raised by women in tight, tiny outfits isn't needed to help St. Louis' homeless population. Yesterday, the St. Patrick Center booted Hooters off its roster of sixteen restaurants participating in a fundraiser scheduled for tomorrow night.

The event is called "Dine and Donate." Participating restaurants will donate a portion of the night's proceeds to the St. Patrick Center, which is a Catholic charity that helps more than 9,000 homeless people in the area with food, clothing, shelter and job placement.

The staff at Hooters, the charity said in a media statement, "have been longtime St. Patrick volunteers and donors."

And yet...

But according to Kelly Peach, senior director of communication for the charity, donors and others objected to the inclusion of the cleavage-and-wings specialists.

"When we sent out the e-blast letting people know about the Hooters portion, from the feedback, we decided to cancel the Hooters portion," Peach tells Daily RFT.

A segment on the controversy aired last night on KTVI (Fox-2). Since it aired, Peach says, she's been hearing from people on both sides of the debate.

"We've had people saying 'thank you,' and we've had people saying 'you shouldn't have,'" she says. "It's fodder for a bigger issue, which is conservatives versus liberals."

Ultimately, Peach says, they're a Catholic organization first, under the aegis of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Despite their past working relationship with the restaurant, Peach is unsure of any future events planned with them.

But the controversy has had one tangible effect on St. Patrick's bottom line, she says.

"Believe it or not, we're starting to get donations from it."