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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fire Chief Uncomfortable Getting Strip Clubs' Holiday Money at Fire Station Ceremony

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 4:53 PM

click to enlarge Not in my fire house!
  • Not in my fire house!

Update (4:53 p.m.): Firefighters will be picking up the check from strip clubs at the union's distribution center today, followed by a reception at the Gold Club.

Original Story ( 3 p.m.)Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth.

San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White has refused to let a consortium of San Francisco strip clubs present a nearly $20,000 check to the Fire Fighters Union Toy Program this afternoon inside the fire station. Instead, exotic dancers will be doling out the check a few blocks away -- appropriately enough -- at the Gold Club.

The strip clubs say this is the first time they've been snubbed by local firefighters -- who until now have gladly taken the $200,000 clubs have donated to them over the last 17 years -- leaving the clubs scrambling to to find a last-minute location to present the check at 5 p.m.

Still, they didn't reconsider making the donation. 

"While they're disappointed, they understand and continue to believe in the program and feel it's the right thing to do," says Kevin Sanchez, a publicist for the 11 strip clubs of BSC Management, which includes Larry Flynt's Hustler Club, the Hungry-I, and Market Street Cinema. 

The strip clubs donated proceeds from "benefit songs" to the firefighters' annual toy drive (no, not those kind of toys). The clubs also collected toys that people donated at the door in lieu of cover.

Last year, several "appropriately dressed" entertainers presented the check at the fire house, with no major problems, Sanchez said.  But apparently, it had rubbed Hayes-White the wrong way. 

We blogged last week about how much firefighters' rely on adult activities to stock up their toy drive. This year's roster of toy drive contributors included strip clubs, poker tournaments, and a PG-13 fireman calendar. Stray Bar in Bernal Heights has also been handing out free drinks to any patron who showed up to the bar with a Christmas toy in hand.

In their defense, the outcome is all that really matters; kids in need won't know that their Tickle Me Elmo was paid for with proceeds from a rousing topless rendition of Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty."

Danny Gracia, vice president of San Francisco Fire Fighters Local 798, told Bay City News he couldn't figure out why the fire chief of a city that thrives on the sex industry was trying to turn off at PrudeVille. "What difference does it make? It's a legitimate business, and they're one of our biggest donors."

Moreover, it's worth noting that firefighters have more in common with strippers than they might think -- both are the subject matter of many fantasies, and use poles at work, right?

On a side note, doesn't watching this video make you want to donate a toy -- now?

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Lauren Smiley

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