Tip Drill: County to Force School to Return Strip Club Donations - NBC 6 South Florida

Tip Drill: County to Force School to Return Strip Club Donations

Strip club donations are not allowed in schools, county officials believe



    Tip Drill: County to Force School to Return Strip Club Donations
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    NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 20: A stripper dances at the Deja Vu Showgirls Club on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter September 20, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. A few businesses have reopened in the French Quarter as the clean up continues in areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    Students at a South Florida elementary school are about to learn a valuable lesson: It's better to give than to receive - unless it's a strip club doing the giving.

    The Palm Beach County School Board plans to force a financially-strapped elementary school to return $20,000 in donations from a strip club owner who wanted to help the school pay for free lunches for low-income students, the Palm Beach Post reports.

    Joe Rodriguez, owner of the Cheetah strip club chain in Broward and Palm Beach counties, recently presented a check to Roosevelt Elementary, a school that serves predomonantly low-income, African American families.

    There was a huge check repsentation attended by the school's principal, a county commissioner, a local pastor and fully-clothed Cheetah representaives.

    But it wasn't until school board officials checked into the money that they realized the donation came from a strip club mogul, which they felt was out of bounds, regardless of the noble intent.

    “We all have to model appropriate behavior for the student,” School district spokesperson Nat Harrington told the Palm Beach Post. “It would be hypocritical to take their money."

    While strip club money is not at all illegal, Palm Beach County does have a rule about school's accepting donations from any company that sells goods or services that can't be purchased by minors.

    That rule was designed to avoid donations from tobacco or alcohol companies, but 10-year-olds aren't allowed to get table dances, either.

    The $20,000 was raised at Rodriguez's non-profit organization's annual golf tournament - not from the dance floors in his clubs - but it should be noted that strippers served as the caddies in the event.

    Rodriguez and his cohorts think the school board is only hurting the kids they are ordered to serve.

    “The non-profit is run by ex-Marines,” said Rodney Kimbrough, a general manager at Cheetah Palm Beach. “We are legitimate, great Americans. We run legitimate fundraisers and not one dollar in the donation came from strip bars. We just work in strip bars.

    “If the school board is misinterpreting this, shame on them. I saw the eyes of those children Thursday, and I know how appreciative they were.”