- Carlos Barria/Reuters
Multiple charities have pulled their fundraising events from President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, in the wake of his response to a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Cleveland Clinic, the American Cancer Society, and the American Friends of Magen David Adom all said on Thursday that they wouldn’t hold their 2018 galas at the resort. The organizations have held their annual events at Mar-a-Lago for several years.
On Friday, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army said they would not host their events at Mar-a-Lago either. The Red Cross said in a statement that “it has increasingly become a source of controversy and pain for many of our volunteers, employees, and supporters.”
Susan G. Komen, the breast-cancer organization, also on Friday said it would not host its gala at the resort, according to The Washington Post.
The decisions to pull out of Mar-a-Lago come after widely criticized comments from the president blaming the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend on “both sides.” One woman was fatally struck on Saturday when a driver identified by authorities as a Nazi sympathizer plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters.
“Our values and commitment to diversity are critical as we work to address the impact of cancer in every community,” the American Cancer Society said in a statement. “It has become increasingly clear that the challenge to those values is outweighing other business considerations.”
The Salvation Army said its decision to no longer have its Holiday Snow Ball at Mar-a-Lago was because the location was shifting the focus away from the organization’s mission:
“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. Because the conversation has shifted away from the purpose of this event, we will not host it at Mar-a-Lago.”
The organizations join a growing group of companies and business leaders who have distanced themselves from the president after the events in Charlottesville. On Wednesday, the president said he would disband his two business-advisory councils – after several members of his manufacturing council had dropped out and his strategy and policy council had planned to dissolve itself.
Some groups that have previously hosted their fundraising galas at Mar-a-Lago, including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, had decided before this week not to return to the resort.
The events can net between $100,000 and $275,000 for the resort, The Post reported.
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) August 18, 2017