Trump's Mar-A-Lago shunned by charities
US President Donald Trump's slow reaction to right wing violence in his country has had a direct effect on his famous Mar-A-Lago Club in Florida. The number of charities cancelling multimillion-dollar events has grown as they make it clear that they do not want to be associated with a man who's tacitly supported neo-Nazi sentiment recently.
The Cleveland Clinic, American Red Cross and Susan G Komen announced they would be finding new venues for their events after Trump failed to condemn neo-Nazi's and the alt-right who were accused of fomenting violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Red Cross, in particular, released a statement saying that it supports all people across the world and helps "... without discrimination to all people in need, regardless of nationality, race, religious beliefs, or political opinions".
The statement went on to say that the organisation is avoiding Mar-A-Lago because it "has increasingly become a source of controversy and pain for many of our volunteers, employees and supporters".
The Cleveland Clinic, for example, usually rents space at Mar-a-Lago for their annual fundraiser which is usually attended by more than 500 people and its next scheduled event is scheduled for early 2018. But the clinic has cancelled the event and will hold it elsewhere. This alone could cost Trump's Florida club millions of dollars in lost revenue.
A woman was killed during protests against nationalist and far-right members who'd surrounded a statue of Robert E Lee, the confederate general on Saturday, August 12 2017.
Trump blamed what he called “many sides” for hatred and bigotry angering protestors and shocking members of his own party when it became clear that he did not condemn racist views directly.
Eventually he specifically condemned white supremacist groups after the harsh criticism. For some such as the Red Cross and Cleveland Clinic it was too little, too late.
Earlier in 2017 donors had indicated that they'd still hold their functions at the controversial president's club. But his off-the-cuff comments to media in the past week have worried these charities who've indicated that their brands' will be damaged by the relationship with Trump's venue.
There's only one other venue in Palm Beach that can host 500 or more people in an event, apart from Mar-a-Lago, and that is the Breakers' Resort. Charities hold their events in Palm Beach because of the ability to generate a large amount in donations. What's known as "the season" is the time between April and November where the rich gather in the area and are prone to attend charity-raising events.
While charities seek replacement venues, Trump's Mar-a-Lago has already seen a windfall linked to his presidency. Club membership prices have been ratcheted up to $200,000 per person this year and its income grew 25% year on year.