The Caddy Shack. (Colleen Flanagan – THE NEWS)

The Caddy Shack. (Colleen Flanagan – THE NEWS)

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

The annual Strip-a-thon at the Caddy Shack in downtown Maple Ridge may be nearing its last dance.

But the music will play and the dancers will disrobe again this Sunday to help bring happiness during the holidays to those in need, just as they have for 25 years.

Since 1994, the charity event, for which exotic dancers and club staff donate wages or tips for the day, has raised around $300,000 for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

However, the Haney Hotel, which includes the Caddy Shack, has been for sale since last year, and the holder of the liquor licences for the property doesn’t intend to keep a strip club running once a deal is complete.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge landmark properties up for sale.

The Caddy Shack would then join a long list of other such clubs that have closed in the Lower Mainland in recent years – the Cecil Hotel and Fraser Arms in Vancouver, Mugs and Jugs in New Westminster, the Barnett Motor Inn in Port Moody, the Wild Duck Inn in Port Coquitlam, the Alder Inn in Langley and Club Climax in Maple Ridge, to name a few.

And when the Caddy Shack follows, the Christmas hamper – a charity that provides gifts and food for registered families – will have to replace what has become its largest annual source of donations.

Yvan Charette has been general manager of the Haney Hotel, located at the corner of Lougheed Highway and the Haney Bypass, since 2005 and co-owner since 2010.

Charette, who has the liquor licences for the Haney Hotel site, said the Caddy Shack moved to its current location at the back of the building in the 1980s.

RELATED: Strip-a-thon in Maple Ridge hits a new high.

He said many factors have contributed to the closure of strip clubs in the region, the main one being the internet. Another is that some were in older buildings that have since been redeveloped.

Changes to smoking laws in 2002 and 2008 also affecting such clubs, Charette added.

“They made everybody put these smoke rooms in that were extravagant amounts of money with glass and ventilation and stuff, and when those were taken out, some places were hit hard by it,” said Charette.

The Caddy Shack was able to rebound, he added.

Stricter impaired driving laws in more recent years affected business, as well, he said.

“I remember when this happened, we lost 90 per cent of our sales Monday through Thursday the first week because nobody understood, nobody knew, even me as an operator, did not understand the whole thing,” said Charette.

But, again, the Caddy Shack bounced back.

One constant through all of the changes, though, has been the success of the Strip-a-thon.

Romana Van Lissum was a shooter girl at the Caddy Shack when it first held the Strip-a-thon. She has since written a handful of books about waitressing at the Caddy Shack, including one detailing the lives of exotic dancers.

She said they used to wear lavish costumes and could make good money, back when bikers frequented the club and drugs were more present.

But times have changed.

Lissum is now semi-retired, working only once a week at the Caddy Shack, mainly to maintain friendships.

Mary Able, whose last name is now Adu-Poku, was manager of the Caddy Shack and organized the first Strip-a-thon. Back then, each department of the hotel was asked to do some kind of charity work.

Adu-Poku went to see the director of the Christmas hamper society because, she said, a lot of people did not want to accept donations from the strip club or its dancers.

The first Strip-a-thon sold out and raised $7,000.

“We charged, I believe it was $5 to get in the place and $7 at the door,” said Adu-Poku, who now works in the cash office for the Haney Hotel.

There was a lot of backlash from the community at the time, she added.

People would write to the paper that they didn’t think it was right that the Christmas hamper society was taking money from dancers, she said.

Adu-Poku ignored such comments because “kids don’t care where their toys come from or where their food comes from.”

She said there are fewer such complaints today.

This year’s event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and feature 15 performers throughout the day.

It will again have a silent auction and a raffle featuring golf packages, golf bags, hockey tickets, took kits, a karaoke machine, table and chairs, beer recliner, large screen TVs, NHL jerseys and children’s toys, including bicycles.

And there will again be a bra auction, with some fetching as much as $2,000.

Last year’s event raised $24,666 and attracted 200 patrons.

The Strip-a-thon set a record in 2016, raising $37,700 in what was a send-off for Tom Cameron, a long-time volunteer with the Christmas Hamper Society who passed away from leukemia just weeks after the event.

Lorraine Bates, with the hamper society, said the annual Caddy Shack donation alone pays for the entire food bill for all the registered families to have a Christmas meal.

“If it went, that would be a big hole,” Bates said of the Strip-a-thon.

The Caddy Shack is the single largest donor to the hamper society, which operated on a budget of $73,000 last year.

Charette said the Caddy Shack – one of at least five remaining strip clubs in the Lower Mainland – could be around for another five or 10 years.

But once the land is sold, he added, a developer will knock down the buildings. He would still have the liquor licenses for the property and any new commercial buildings, although he wouldn’t continue operation of the Caddy Shack.

He and his wife have discussed how to help the Christmas hamper society afterwards. But, for now, he is focused on this year’s event.

He said the goal, before the last dance, is to set a new Strip-a-thon record: $40,000.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

Just Posted

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Interior Health announces 89 cases of COVID-19 in the region

Currently, there are 900 active cases in the region

B.C. wineries are open for indoor tasting despite new provincial health regulations. Photo- 
50th Parallel Winery, Instagram.
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Mainly clear and sunny skies are expected for the Okanagan-Shuswap region this week. (Maxpixels photo)
Warm, sunny week ahead in Okanagan-Shuswap

Daytime highs will reach the low 20s with mainly clear skies this week

File photo
Trip for cigarettes costs Princeton man $500 and a lecture

You’ve got to start obeying the rules of the road, says judge

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A five-storey, 60-unit building has been proposed for 8709 Jubilee Rd. E., Summerland. The proposal will be the subject of a public hearing on March 22. (Image by GTA Architecture)
Zoning, OCP amendments adopted for Summerland housing development

Additional variances will be needed for controversial five-storey, 60-unit housing development

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

Sheila Derbyshire surprised her daughter, Talyn, at Len Wood Middle School in Armstrong April 12, 2021, for her 13th birthday with 13 clowns carrying 13 red balloons. (Sheila Derbyshire - Contributed)
Armstrong mom sends in the clowns

‘Halloween freak’ celebrates daughter’s 13th birthday in style

Lime e-scooters will soon be offered in Kelowna. (Photo: Kris Krug)
E-scooters now allowed on Kelowna roadways under provincial pilot program

‘Rather than a novelty, this change will enable e-scooters to be used for more utilitarian transportation purposes’

Air Canada cancelled service to and from Penticton Jan. 11, 2021. After receving $5.9 billion in federal aid the airline is now set to renew service on the route in June, 2021. (Mark Brett - Western News file)
Air Canada flights set to return to the South Okanagan

Federal aid could have the Vancouver/Penticton route back to pre-pandemic service

Most Read