It was one of those “only in Vegas” scenes—a Plexiglas vehicle called the Strippermobile delivering $19,000 worth of bikes to a toy drive last week.
And for Larry Beard, creator of the Strippermobile, it’s a fitting moment of irony; last year, the Strippermobile was shut down by the county over decency and safety issues. Now, a supposed symbol of Sin City’s debauchery is a symbol of the best of humanity.
“That was kind of the point,” Beard says. “It’s not bad, it’s good.”
The whole enterprise was the brainchild of Gary Nemeth, manager of the Little Darlings strip club. Beard, advertising and marketing director for Déjà vu and Little Darlings, loved the idea immediately, and it didn’t take long to persuade employees and customers alike to give generously. “We raised $19,000 in eight days, four weekends,” Beard says. “Five dollars at a time.”
Employees used the proceeds to buy 331 bikes at Walmart, after which the merchandise was piled in three U-Haul trucks and transported to HELP of Southern Nevada’s annual 12-day toy.
Fuilala Riley, Help’s chief operations officer, describes the scene: “It was surreal. At about 7:30 a.m. Thursday, we see this big Plexiglas truck, a limousine, a party bus and three U-Haul trucks. In the Plexiglas truck they have that fake snow you decorate with, and someone dressed as Santa was back there with about five women who had on red, long nightgowns and Santa hats. Oh, and heels.”
Beard hopes to make the donation an annual tradition, and has even challenged other adult clubs in the city to follow his example. He also hopes the Strippermobile, which has been all but mothballed since last year, will begin to see more use, “If not at charitable events, maybe festivals and anything else that takes place in a parking lot.”