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."
But according to Kelly Peach, senior director of communication for
the charity, donors and others objected to the inclusion of the
"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.
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."