The COVID shutdown has hit the adult nightclub industry like a ton of bricks and its impact continues to stretch beyond staff and entertainers. With clubs closed or operating at a limited capacity, the businesses that clubs order products and services from also suffer.

So what happens when your club has an annual charity event, one that has given back to the local community for almost 15 years? Do you simply forgo the event, knowing that the charities you support will hurt without your regular donation? Or do you get creative and find a way to make it happen?

Shon Boulden
Shon Boulden

For Shon Boulden, this may in fact be the most “creative” year of his life. Remember a few months ago, that club that started that trend called “Boober Eats” (eventually renamed when Uber got wind of it)? Do you recall the club that utilized their parking lot to offer what may very well have been the first COVID-inspired “drive-through strip club” in the US? Both of these came from the mind of Boulden, owner of Devil’s Point and Lucky Devil Lounge in Portland, Oregon.

It’s little surprise, then, that Boulden didn’t let the coronavirus shut down his Bikini Car & Dog Wash Benefit, an event that he introduced almost 15 years ago.

“When the shutdown hit, I was like “f**k … there’s no way we can do our dog wash this year,” he posted recently on Facebook. “I racked my brain for weeks on how we could pull this off. I usually spend about two months putting this party together, from pulling permits, contacting sponsors, advertising, designing merch, etc. A week before I said, ‘We are doing this.’”

For the first time in 13 years, Boulden moved the bikini dog wash from Devils Point to the parking lot at the Lucky Devil Lounge.

“After doing the drive-through strip club (at Lucky Devil), I knew we could pull it off there,” Bolden addd. “I have to give a big thanks to all the ladies, staff, dogs, cars and customers that braved the social distancing and helped us raise and donate money. After a long day of washing cars and dogs we were able to raise about a third of what we usually would, but it was worth it.”

ED had the chance to catch up with Boulden to find out more about this event, who exactly they donate to, and why all clubs should find some way to get involved with a local (or national) charity.

“I’d say to other clubs that avoid doing charity work to just talk to your staff and see what they would be into. Donating time and money, even just once a year, is just something all businesses and strip clubs should do. This was our third benefit this year.” – Shon Boulden

ED: When did you start doing the dog wash, and what made you target the specific charities that you work with?
BOULDEN: Our first Bikini Car & Dog Wash Benefit was in 2006. This year marks our 14th year. The first year we raised about $500 bucks and our best year we raised over $5000. I’ve always been into team building with my staff. And with Devils Point not being on the beaten path, we usually have to work a little harder than other clubs to promote and be creative. I wanted to do a benefit that we could raise and donate money, but would also be fun. Almost the entire staff were dog owners, and a lot of those dogs were rescues, and as I pitched the idea, everyone was down to participate. This benefit also typically coincides with the Devils Point anniversary, which is in August.

ED: What made you start it, and why do you think it’s been so successful over the years?
BOULDEN: I think it’s been so successful because people feel good donating to a good cause. And when you pull up and see 30-plus girls in bikinis running around having a great time, washing cars and dogs, it’s like you’re pulling up to a music video shoot or something. In fact, one year we got a one-star review from a customer who complained about it being more like a music video and having to wait for girls who were taking pics on the hood of cars, but what else would you expect? I’d even say this is the only car wash that your car comes out more dirty!

ED: What causes do you donate to for this charity event? Did anyone ever decline donations from a “strip club”?
BOULDEN: We originally donated money to the Oregon Humane Society. By the second year of the wash, our donations were growing into the thousand-dollar range, which allowed us to take a behind the scenes tour of the facility. The director at the time who gave us the tour said that she appreciated our donation, but thought that some of the other more local, smaller shelters could benefit from it more. We were always cautious about who we donated to, being that some organizations just do not approve of our industry. That’s when we found Family Dogs New Life No-Kill Dog Shelter, which happened to be just a mile or so from our club. You don’t realize it, but those dogs at the Humane Society that don’t get adopted, get put down, but the hundreds. But with the no-kill shelters, they just don’t do that.

ED: What would you tell a club owner who avoids charity work because they think no one will accept their money?
BOULDEN: I’d say to other clubs that avoid doing charity work to just talk to your staff and see what they would be into. Donating time and money, even just once a year, is just something all businesses and strip clubs should do. This was our third benefit this year. During the drive-through strip club, we did two other fundraisers, one for Pueblo Unito, a local Portland organization that provides legal aid for those facing deportation, and six different groups fighting for racial justice (The Bail Project, Poor People’s Campaign, NAACP, Mijente, Color Of Change and The Citizenship Education Fund). It always feels good to give.

EXPO deal 1