A benefit for the homeless at the Downtown St. Louis Hooters restaurant drew fire and was ultimately shot down Tuesday. The St. Patrick’s Center’s “Dine or Donate” event was set for Thursday night.
St. Patrick’s Center cancelled the event after receiving what a spokeswoman said were a “few dozen” complaints.
St. Patrick’s Center is a Catholic charity that helps provide food, clothing, shelter, and job training for close to 9,000 people in need in the St. Louis area every year.
The event’s opponents felt the Hooters image of scantily clad waitresses serving food, was hardly in keeping with the Catholic faith. Waitresses in ultra tight tank tops and short shorts rode a scooter and twirled a hula hoop outside the restaurant to lure customers Tuesday night.
There is more to the story: for years in St. Louis, “Hooters Girls” have been serving the homeless around them; volunteering at St. Patrick’s Center, serving lunches there in the proper attire; donating time and food to the St. Patrick’s Center’s mega-fundraiser, the annual Sports Trivia Championship.
But the line was drawn at holding an event for St. Patrick’s Center at the restaurant, with the waitresses clad in their skimpy uniforms.
“I don’t think they should have cancelled it,” said customer, Cheryl Waltrip, a non-Catholic visiting St. Louis. “I think that any opportunity to raise money especially in our times with people being homeless and jobless. I think they should take every opportunity they get to raise money.”
She said her husband, who is Catholic, would not object.