An invitation for the Opening Day Foundation’s “Opening Day 2017” event, first reported by TMZ, offered donors who spend $250,000 or more a “private reception and photo opportunity with President Donald J. Trump,” as well as other prizes. Those who fork over $500,000 or more would also receive a “multi-day hunting and/or fishing excursion” with Trump’s adult sons, according to the invitation.
The Center for Public Integrity’s review of Texas incorporation records found that the Opening Day Foundation was created just one week ago, on Dec. 14. The foundation lists four directors: Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Dallas investor Gentry Beach, and Tom Hicks Jr., the son of a Dallas billionaire.
Walter Kinzie, chief executive officer of Encore Live, a Texas event management company, confirmed to TPM that the Opening Day Foundation hired his firm to manage the event.
“This celebration, independent from official inaugural events sponsored by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, is in support of conservation organizations all over our beautiful country,” he wrote in an email. “All net proceeds from this private event will be donated to support conservation efforts.”
The draft invitation for the event obtained by TMZ did not name the conservation charities, and it's not clear how the net proceeds would be calculated.
Leslie Coppler, a spokeswoman for the McIntosh Company, another organizer for the event, declined to confirm the reported hunting trip offers to TPM, saying that more details would be released this week. Kinzie also told CPI that the participation of Trump family members hadn't been confirmed yet, either.
The event is further shrouded from public scrutiny because nonprofits like the Opening Day Foundation are not required by law to reveal their donors.