Three more charity groups pull out of fundraisers at Mar-a-Lago, TheHill, charity groups.#Charity #groups
Three more charity groups pull out of fundraisers at Mar-a-Lago
Three more charity groups have canceled their plans to host fundraising events from President Trump’s luxury Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla., joining a growing list of nonprofit groups abandoning events at the property over the president’s response to the violence at a white supremacist rally over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va.
The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced on Friday they would hold their events planned for Mar-a-Lago elsewhere.
The Red Cross said in a statement that it decided to pull the plug on its plans to hold its annual fundraising event at the club, because the president’s property has “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 group said.
“The Red Cross provides assistance without discrimination to all people in need, regardless of nationality, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or political opinions, and we must be clear and unequivocal in our defense of that principle.”
Kurt Watkins, a spokesman for The Salvation Army, said in a statement that it decided to cancel plans to host its “Holiday Snow Ball” at Mar-a-Lago, because “the conversation has shifted away from the purpose of this event.”
Susan G. Komen, a breast cancer nonprofit, said in an internal announcement Friday that it was withdrawing from the Palm Beach club and is in the process of finding a new venue, according to Andrea Radar, the group’s senior communications director.
The new announcements bring the total number of groups that have canceled events at Mar-a-Lago to six.
The Cleveland Clinic, the American Cancer Society and the American Friends of Magen David Adom all announced they would no longer hold events at the club earlier this week.
Trump has faced mounting criticism following a news conference on Tuesday, where he appeared to defend white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups that had gathered in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.
He also doubled down on his claim that “both sides” were responsible for the violence that erupted during the Saturday protests — resulting in the death of one counterprotester and the injury of at least a dozen others when a man with alleged racist connections plowed his car into a crowd — criticizing what he called “alt-left” demonstrators for violently confronting white nationalist groups.
The president’s comments spurred immediate criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, who have urged him in recent days to take a harder line against racism and hate groups.
Also amid the fallout, two of Trump’s economic councils disbanded as prominent business leaders sought to distance themselves from a White House consumed increasingly by controversy. On Thursday, the president abruptly scrapped plans for a council on infrastructure.
Lois Pope, a Palm Beach County-based philanthropist, signaled that her organization, the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, could be the next to cancel plans at Mar-a-Lago. She said in a statement Friday that she had recommended to the group’s board that it move an annual fundraising Gala from the private club.
“Indeed, the hatred, vitriol and Anti-Semitic and racist views being spewed by Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists are repugnant and repulsive – and they are antithetical to everything that this country, and I personally stand for,” she said.
“And anyone who would demonstrate even a modicum of support for them by insisting that there are ‘good people’ among them is not deserving of my personal patronage or that of my foundations,” Pope continued.
The Trump Organization did not respond to The Hill’s request for comment.