16 Charities Have Cancelled Fundraisers At Mar-A-Lago In Wake Of Charlottesville

Palm trees are seen across a lawn at Mar-a-Lago where President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are meeting, Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP

This post has been updated.

First, CEOs abandoned President Donald Trump by quitting White House advisory councils. Now, charities have begun to ditch Trump’s business by canceling fundraisers planned at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.

In the wake of Trump’s failure to fully denounce white nationalists following the violence in Charlottesville, sixteen charities have cancelled events planned for Mar-a-Lago next year.

The Cleveland Clinic, a hospital network, pulled its 2018 fundraising gala from Trump’s Palm Beach club early Thursday afternoon. The clinic did not share its reasoning behind canceling plans to hold the event at Mar-a-Lago.

Then the American Cancer Society announced Thursday afternoon that it would no longer hold its annual fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago in February. The charity did not mention Trump by name, but noted its commitment to diversity.

“Our values and commitment to diversity are critical as we work to address the impact of cancer in every community,” American Cancer Society spokeswoman Miriam Falco said in statement. “It has become increasingly clear that the challenge to those values is outweighing other business considerations.”

Later Thursday, American Friends of Magen David Adom, a group that supports medical first responders in Israel, announced that it would no longer hold its annual fundraiser at Mar-A-Lago in 2018. The group, which held its fundraiser at Trump’s club last year, did not offer specific reasoning for pulling the event from the Trump family venue.

“After considerable deliberation, AFMDA — an apolitical and humanitarian aid organization — will not hold its 2018 Palm Beach Celebration of Life Gala at Mar-a-Lago,” the group said in a statement.

Four charities announced plans to move their venues from Mar-A-Lago on Friday, including several major national foundations.

The American Red Cross, which was scheduled to hold an event in February of next year, announced that it pulled the event from Mar-A-Lago “as it has increasingly become a source of controversy and pain for many of our volunteers, employees and supporters.”

“We believe this action will allow us to continue to put the focus on our lifesaving mission and the people we serve. The Red Cross provides assistance without discrimination to all people in need, regardless of nationality, race, religious beliefs, or political opinions, and we must be clear and unequivocal in our defense of that principle,” the organization said in a statement.

The Salvation Army, which was set to hold a fundraiser at Trump’s Palm Beach club in December, said Friday that the venue had become a distraction.

“The Salvation Army relies heavily on fundraising events like The Holiday Snow Ball in Palm Beach to further our mission of helping those in need through a range of social services including food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, clothing and shelter for the homeless, and opportunities for the underprivileged,” the group said in a statement. “Because the conversation has shifted away from the purpose of this event, we will not host it at Mar-a-Lago.”

The Susan G. Komen Foundation, a charity that fundraises for breast cancer research, told the Washington Post that they would change the venue for its event planned for January 2018, but did not offer a specific reasoning for doing so. The Autism Project of Palm Beach County also told the Washington Post on Friday that they would no longer hold a planned event at the club.

By Friday afternoon several other charities had decided to pull events from Mar-A-Lago as well, bringing the total to 16 organizations, according to an updated list from the Palm Beach Daily News.

Charities ditching Trump’s businesses is the latest bit of fallout from his comments pandering to white nationalists in the wake of the deadly Charlottesville attack. Trump on Wednesday dissolved two White House advisory boards as the CEOs on the councils began to object to Trump’s comments and leave the panels.

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