November 28th, 2009
04:06 PM ET
13 years ago

Topless club owner names dog shelter after Gingrich

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Dawn Rizos donated $5,000 to open 'Newt's Nook'."]
(CNN)– Despite being uninvited to a "private dinner" given by Newt Gingrich, the owner of a Dallas topless club has no hard feelings. She used the money meant for a donation to the former house speaker's political organization to open up a dog shelter in his honor.

Last month, Dawn Rizos, owner of Dallas topless club The Lodge, received a letter from Gingrich's American Solutions inviting her to dine with Gingrich at a Capitol Hill club. She was also told she had been selected to receive an Entrepreneur of the Year Award. "Dawn – Newt is looking forward to finally meeting you face to face" to talk policy, read a handwritten note on the missive.

Lodge spokesman Michael Precker said they were told the group would need $5,000 to confirm her attendance, which they promptly paid. Shortly after, they were notified by a marketing company working for American Solutions that the invite had been mistakenly extended, and was being rescinded.

"Newt's Nook" opened its doors earlier this week, thanks to a $5,000 donation made by Rizos to the Animal Guardians, a dog rescue shelter 40 miles outside of Dallas. The shelter is meant to provide a place for dogs to recuperate until they are adopted.

"We're thrilled to help such a worthy project," said Rizos. "Instead of holding a grudge, we decided to make something positive out of his bad manners."

Rizos also announced a Valentine's Day special. The Lodge will donate an additional $100 to the Animal Guardians for each dog adopted through Valentine's Day 2010, along with a gift certificate to The Lodge or Stratos Global Greek Taverna.

Animal Guardians Director Annette Lambert says she will be forever grateful.

"Dawn [Rizos] didn't deserve to be treated like that, but this will do so much for these loving dogs until we find them good homes," Lambert said.

–CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand contributed to this post.

Filed under: Newt Gingrich • Popular Posts
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Aaron

    Now, if someone would name a toilet paper brand after him, his worthy place in history would be secured.

    November 28, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. Ryan

    What a beautiful story! If I lived anywhere remotely near that area, I would adopt a dog from that shelter in a heartbeat. What a superior cause to which to donate your money than to a political action committee, be it Democrat or Republican.

    November 28, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. NVa Native

    Newt is a joke, so are his weak attempts to being relevant.

    November 28, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. J


    It may not have been Newt personally addressing the letter and perhaps she should have looked into it deeper (although that is really not her responsibility being someone who matches all the criteria the invitation was calling for). Regardless, a mistake like that is still pretty amateur and doesn't reflect well on Mr. Gingrich or his constituents. That being said – the same would be true if it were coming from a Democrat's office.

    November 28, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Joyce Becker

    Newt is so dumb, he couldn't even get elected for dog catcher.

    November 28, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  6. gottlieb schlittenfahrt

    Probably was an honest mistake sendimg her the invitation. It's a matter of public record that Newt and his pals seem to prefer the company of hookers and mistresses over strippers.

    November 28, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. bob jones

    Good one GOP. Keep spewing all of your one-liners. That's all the GOP has going for them. Most "conservatives" are full of hatred and it is showing thanks to Beck, Hannity, and Limbaugh. They are giving the meaning to "right wing whack job." Obama should have an easy second term win.

    November 28, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. Adam

    Why on earth would she give him a donation in the first place? If he had his way both her and the dog shelter would be out of business.

    November 28, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. Rich

    I guess maybe Newt thought that maybe one of the girls might know him professionally. I see that Dawn has put the donation to a much better use althouh it is no doubt much to dignified for Newt to be associated with real "man's best friend". As far a Dawn having the qualifications to be Newt's running mate. I do believe she greatly outclasses him an maybe he could be second fiddle to her.

    November 28, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  10. jsamples

    "Instead of holding a grudge, we decided to make something positive out of his bad manners.

    " HAHAHA Ladies and Gentlemen, that's still called "HOLDING A GRUDGE!"

    November 28, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. SOL

    Don't look down your nose at Dawn Rizos, she pays more than 1.3 million in taxes each year. Maybe she should recieve the award.

    November 28, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. Minnesotan

    The money is far better spent helping dogs that it would have been in Washington wasted on snakes.

    November 28, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Stunning.....a whole day nearly passed by now without CNN slandering Palin.

    November 28, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Why not a story on the environmental fraud? Rahm got your tongue CNN ?

    November 28, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  15. HUGO

    What a bunch of BOOBS, but of course the left will not be be one up'd and respond with an article about Michelle and Barry's Beavers....

    November 28, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  16. Nick

    May they NewTer the GOPers and their so-called family values.

    November 28, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. check into it a bit more to be sure it is not a mistake

    you GOPers are really dumb

    she should check into her invites to make sure they are not a mistake

    as if it is her fault... listen dummy, Newt could have personally extended an appology instead of phone-ing it in

    Newt has no manners, he is a creep

    regardless of her profession, which is what you were reacting too, she is an honorable woman

    November 28, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  18. Dwayne

    big deal. How is this news Emily??????

    November 28, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  19. Edwin

    Gop wrote "...Maybe next time she gets an invite she might want to check into it a bit more to be sure it is not a mistake."

    Why should she? If you got a handwritten letter from a political organization saying you were to receive an award for your successful business, would you think it was a mistake? Of course not.

    November 28, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  20. Watchdog

    You're drinking too much holiday kool-aid over at CNN if this is a national news story in your minds.

    November 28, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  21. Pam Holt, Los Angeles, CA

    That money CERTAINLY went to a much better cause! BY FAR! Bless you, Dawn for helping those that cannot help themselves. Newt can go fly a kite (that was the politest thing I could come up with)!

    November 28, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  22. Gonzo in Houston

    I wonder who Newt finally gave the Entrepreneur of the Year Award to? And do they know that they were his second choice after the owner of a strip club?

    November 28, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  23. Chris

    For a party that stresses conservative morals, the republicans seem to have alot of issues involving strippers and prostitutes. In fact, they cheered David Vitter and his cheating with a prostitute. They were thrilled that a republican actually cheated with a women unlike the scandals involving Larry Craig and Mark Foley.

    November 28, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. KArcher37

    This is the best and worst headline in American history.

    Shirt please?

    November 28, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  25. Jim Adams

    I agree it was very bad manners, but what do you expect?? At least the money went to a good cause.


    November 28, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
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