We’ll take your money but the strippers have to go


UPDATE 3:31 p.m. The donation presentation has been moved. It will be held this afternoon at 5 p.m. at 2225 Jerrold Avenue, San Francisco.

In a four-alarm display of hypocrisy, the San Francisco Fire Department will accept a monetary donation from a group of exotic dancers but not allow the group to publicly present the funds this afternoon in front of a downtown fire station.

Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White put the kaibash on the check presentation at the fire station “just because the nature of it,” fire department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said. The donation benefits the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program, which distributes toys to about 40,000 disadvantaged kids every year.

It’s a holiday tradition for dancers at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club, the Condor Club, and Little Darlings to kick in about $15,000 a year to the toy drive. The group also donates toys bought by club patrons in exchange for free admission.

Danny Gracia, vice president of Local 798, said the firefighters then planned on holding the event on a public sidewalk outside the firehouse, but Chief Hayes-White “made a fuss” about that too. Gracia told BCN:

“What difference does it make? It’s a legitimate business, and they’re one of our biggest donors.”

Sounds like Hayes-White’s copy of the U.S. Constitution — or the portion of her brain that interprets it — may have taken some water damage over the years.

Jill Peeler, event coordinator for the toy program, told SFBay the group is happy to accept the toy donations:

“We’re just here for the kids. Anybody willing to donate, we’re ready to accept.”

The union is trying to find a new location for the presentation, possibly in North Beach.

The toy drive has been moved to 2225 Jerrold Avenue at 5 p.m.



Jesse Garnier
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as associate professor at San Francisco State University.

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