A service club in Saskatoon says a fundraising event that included women in G-strings dancing on raised walkways was misrepresented by a CBC story, but that it will review all its fundraising events going forward.
Last week, the Saskatoon branch of the Canadian Progress Club held the fundraiser, called “Boys Lunch Out,” with the money raised going towards a number of charities in the city.
On Tuesday afternoon, the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation returned a $25,000 donation from the club after the foundation’s CEO initially dismissed criticism of the event.
“We believe the article has grossly misrepresented the event itself and all those involved, [but] we have heard the concerns that people have shared,” read a statement from the club. “We will now take this important opportunity to consult with our valued partners to review all fundraising practices going forward.”
The club also said it has been hosting the event for 35 years.
On Friday, a CBC reporter was ejected from the event after shooting a short video, which shows a dozen women clad in underwear and gyrating to pop and rock music.
During the event, a male MC made sexual jokes — with punch lines such as “That’s what she said” — while his female counterpart implored the men to order more drinks.
Events were scheduled Thursday evening as well, according to the club’s website, when fewer than 50 VIP donors were taken by bus to a secret location for a “model photoshoot party.”
The site promised “one-on-one” time with some of the top models.
“We put a drink in your hand and drive you to the location. Free liquor and food will be steadily supplied by our handpicked waitresses,” it said.
Reaction from attendees was mixed. While some called the event harmless, others said it clearly objectified women.
A basic table at the lunch cost just under $1,000, while a VIP table went for $3,675. Perks included better views of the models and up to 45 free drink tickets per table.
One of the attendees said before he left, the event had raised $90,000 through tickets, 50/50 draws and auctions for a chance to drive a race car, attend the NHL all-star game and take trips to Las Vegas.