More than a dozen charities have pulled their events from President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in a continued backlash to how Trump responded to the fatal violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last week.
Trump initially cast blame for the violence at a white supremacist rally on “many sides,” before he walked back his statement and condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis. But he subsequently doubled down on his first remarks, saying there were “very fine people on both sides.” Trump’s comments were so controversial that CEOs began to abandon his business councils, causing Trump to disband them, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle rushed to denounce his comments and issue their own rebukes of racism and other types of discrimination.
Now the Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold reports that since Trump’s controversial comments last week, a total of 16 charities have canceled events that were planned at Mar-a-Lago.
This is what @realDonaldTrump's Charlottesville comments did to business at Mar-a-Lago. One list is before C-Ville, the other from today. pic.twitter.com/1L3em5Dt4U— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) August 21, 2017
Another list: charities planning *non*-gala events at Mar-a-Lago (lunches, lectures, etc). Before/after @realDonaldTrump comments on C-ville pic.twitter.com/YKttCVSNE4— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) August 21, 2017
The photos of Fahrenthold’s notepad, which he posted on Twitter Monday, are already out of date, as additional charities have ditched the venue since.
The full list as of Tuesday afternoon is: American Cancer Society; American Friends of Magen David Adom; American Red Cross; Autism Project of Palm Beach County; Big Dog Ranch Rescue; Cleveland Clinic Florida; Hearing the Ovarian Cancer Whisper; Leaders in Furthering Education; MorseLife; Palm Beach Zoo; Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach; Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts; Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation; Salvation Army; Susan G. Komen; and Unicorn Children's Foundation.
Sharon Alexander, executive director of the Unicorn Children’s Foundation, an international nonprofit focused on special needs children, issued a statement on the foundation’s decision to cancel a fashion show luncheon at Trump’s property. It read in part: “Due to the political turbulence associated with this choice of venue it would be a disservice to our supporters and our children to hold our event at Mar-a-Lago.”
The Palm Beach Post reported last Friday that Big Dog Ranch Rescue, a national animal welfare organization co-chaired by the president’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump, decided to move its annual luncheon.
Canceled events at Mar-a-Lago will likely result in quite a bit of lost revenue for the Trump family. Fahrenthold reports, “Charities hosting large galas can pay Trump's club between $125,000 and $275,000 for a single night's revelry. Even lunchtime events can cost charities between $25,000 and $85,000.”
But he also suggests that some of the charities may be taking a hit for making this choice. According to Fahrentold, the Unicorn Children’s Foundation is expecting to lose out on about $160,000 in donations from its canceled luncheon event.
Mar-a-Lago is taking a hit as charities cancel — but the charities are taking financial risks, too. https://t.co/RUE9YfU736— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) August 22, 2017
Though some charities insist that this move is not a political statement, others made clear that they were taking a stand.
In an announcement that the American Cancer Society would be moving a dinner for its sponsors as well as an anniversary gala from Mar-a-Lago, spokesperson Miriam Falco said in a statement, “Our values and commitment to diversity are critical as we work to address the impact of cancer in every community.”