Five more charities pull out of Mar-a-Lago events

by Sophie Craig August 20, 2017, 0:42
Five more charities pull out of Mar-a-Lago events

In April, Mar-a-Lago, the president's private club in Palm Beach, was the hottest place to be in South Florida.

In recent months, a number of other charitable groups who held annual events at Mar-a-Lago have stated that they will find alternate venues for upcoming fundraisers, citing security issues and political differences as reasons.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which defended white nationalists' right to hold a rally in the Virginia city, said it will no longer offer legal support to extremist groups that seek to march while armed, reports The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

As of June, only 25 events had been confirmed for the Mar-a-Lago's 2017-18 season, as compared with over 50 just before Trump announced his candidacy in 2014-15, the Post noted. It has been held at Mar-a-Lago the last eight years.

Baker, head of the Palm Beach chamber, spoke vigorously against Mar-a-Lago on Thursday, saying that her directive to nearby charities was, "If you're looking at your mission statement, can you honestly say having an event at Mar-a-Lago, given all that has transpired, is the best stewardship of your efforts?"

"We did really listen to the community and we did consider other options for the event this year, but, in the end, the decision was made to stay at Mar-a-Lago, because the venue is appropriate for the size of the event that we have", she said.

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The gilded and glittering Mar-a-Lago has been a favorite spot for holding charity events and a money maker for the Trump Organization.

A few hours after the Cleveland Clinic's announcement, the American Cancer Society pulled out. Since his January inauguration, Trump has spent more than 20 days at the resort and hosted world leaders there, referring to it as the "winter White House".

A public letter seeking relocation of the event has quickly collected more than 1,100 signatures from doctors, nurses, medical students and other OH residents concerned about the nation's No. 2-ranked hospital patronizing a Trump business. Cleveland.com's Steve Koff first reported the news Thursday.

Toby Cosgrove, the hospital group's CEO, was among the executives on one of Trump's business councils. Earlier this year, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute announced that they would move events from Mar-a-Largo to other venues.

"Hosting the event on Trump property is a symbolic and financial endorsement of the President's policies and statements, many of which threaten our patients' health - particularly the very young, the very old, cancer patients, and the chronically ill", the letter read.

Mar-a-Lago declined to comment for this story.


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