Medical Charities Desert Mar-a-Lago

Medical Charities Desert Mar-a-Lago

"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".

"Kurt Watkins, a spokesman for The Salvation Army, said in a statement that it chose to cancel plans to host its "Holiday Snow Ball" at Mar-a-Lago, because "the conversation has shifted away from the objective of this event".

"The American Red Cross has decided we can not host our annual fundraising event at Mar-a-Lago, as it has increasingly become a source of controversy and pain for many of our volunteers, employees and supporters", the group said in a statement Friday.

Less than four months later, Mar-a-Lago is suddenly a dirty word - courtesy of Trump's inability to pick a side in the deadly Charlottesville protests. The cancellations - that may cut down the revenue for the private club - can be viewed as a direct blowback to Trump's business.

The American Friends of Magen David Adom, a group supporting Israel's ambulance and disaster relief programs, also pulled its event from the club, a shindig that previous year drew 600 attendees who paid $650 each to get in.

In the wake of Trump's failure to fully denounce white nationalists following the violence in Charlottesville, three charities have cancelled events planned at Mar-A-Lago next year. It was held at Mar-a-Lago because of costs, venue requirements and other factors, according to the statement.

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Last month, a nonprofit group filed suit claiming Trump had illegally convened it without required public disclosures. Its cancellation follows Trump's announcement Wednesday that he was disbanding two other business advisory panels.

For example, Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove had served on one of the disbanded business councils. Before changing course, Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman Eileen Sheil had said last week that the hospital system's event was not political.

The organization's president, Lois Pope, is urging the board to abandon Mar-a-Lago for a gala in December.

The fundraiser has raised $700,000 to $1 million annually to expand programs and purchase equipment for the hospital system's Florida facility. "The Foundation today stands with the Palm Beach community and has cancelled its 5th Annual Bipolar Medical Luncheon at The Mar-a-Lago Club and will be moving the Luncheon to another venue in Palm Beach that will be announced at a later date".

Two organizations that have announced plans to hold events at Mar-a-Lago in the coming months confirmed they'll go ahead with their plans.

As of now, some nonprofits are staying the course, including West Palm Beach's Kravis Center For The Performing Arts, Big Dog Ranch Rescue (Trump daughter-in-law Lara Trump is the event's chairwoman) and Leaders in Furthering Education, National Enquirer heiress Lois Pope's December 2 shindig.

"The event has been held there for a number of years, and the folks supporting it want to continue to have it there", spokesman Gary Schweikhart said.

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