Boobapalooza raises funds for cancer at Byrd in Surrey

Boobapalooza raises funds for cancer at Byrd in Surrey

SURREY — It turns out the “stripper with a heart of gold” stereotype isn’t just a Hollywood construct. In fact, Surrey’s own Trina Ricketts — better known to her fans and patrons by her stage name Annie Temple — a veteran exotic dancer in the Lower Mainland circuit has shown her 24-carat character for the past 10 years with her annual cancer fundraising event, Boobapalooza.

This year, Ricketts has co-coordinated the event with Jen Hansen, also a dancer, at Surrey’s exotic show lounge The Byrd, with many Metro Vancouver dancers donating performances in effort to raise money for the children left behind of cancer victim Twyla Newton who passed away in 2008.

Newton was well known among adult entertainers, having been a waitress at Vancouver’s gentleman’s club the Cecil Hotel for nearly 20 years. As well as serving drinks to patrons of the club, Newton made and sold costumes to exotic dancers in the community.

“We started raising funds at our events for the kids after Twyla passed away,” Ricketts told the Now. “We’ve kind of been providing ongoing — but not a huge amount of — support over the last six years… we’ve had the opportunity to give them things like piano lessons, musical equipment, computer equipment, stuff like that.”, an online venture by Ricketts for members of the adult entertainment industry in and around Vancouver, helps in delegating responsibilities and gaining momentum for the yearly event. Ricketts and Hansen chose Surrey’s The Byrd for its proximity to the organizers and because of its stellar reputation among entertainers in the industry.

“The management and staff of The Byrd are wonderful to work with. They’re just really supportive, helpful,” said Ricketts. “They’ve been voted one of the best places to work by Lower Mainland exotic dancers… they’ve got a great reputation, despite the reputation of the ‘dirty Byrd.’”

In an unfortunate turn of events, Ricketts’ father passed away this year of lung cancer, with the event now taking on more meaning for the exotic dancing activist, who says her father never made her feel ashamed of her profession.

“He’s always been really proud of me, so every event I always got him a t-shirt or stickers,” she said. “He really wanted to try and come again to this event, knowing that he was getting close to the end, and unfortunately he wasn’t able to survive long enough to be able to attend.”

Boobapalooza takes place on Aug. 3 from 3 to 11 p.m. at The Byrd Pub in Surrey. The celebration will feature continuous entertainment, door prizes including pole dancing lessons, a photo booth, silent auction and more. Admission is by donation.

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