At least seven organizations have cancelled events at Trump’s Palm Beach, Fla., private club in recent days. The American Cancer Society, the Cleveland Clinic, The Salvation Army, American Red Cross, the American Friends of Magen David Adom, and breast cancer fundraising organization Susan G. Komen, all announced Thursday and Friday that they would no longer use Mar-a-Lago for their fundraising events. In addition, The Autism Project of Palm Beach County has cancelled a gala it has held at the club for the past nine years, the Washington Post reports. Although none of the organizations specifically mentioned the president’s remarks concerning events in Charlottesville this week, the American Cancer Society, which had planned a fundraiser for 600 at the venue, released a statement saying, “Our values and commitment to diversity are critical as we work to address the impact of cancer in every community. It has become increasingly clear that the challenge to those values is outweighing other business considerations." Prior to these announcements, seven other high-profile philanthropic organizations had cancelled scheduled events at Mar-a-Lago since Trump took office.
In remarks to the Washington Post, Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laurel Baker called the club “morally reprehensible.”
She said, “The glitter, the shine has gone from the club,” and went on to say, “I can’t help but think there will be more fallout from it.”
Mar-a-Lago was recently the subject of controversy over requests for foreign work visas at the club during the same week the White House launched its “Made in America” initiative.
For meeting planners looking for venues in the Palm Beach area, a search of the Cvent Supplier Network brings up 178 properties within a 20 mile radius of Mar-a-Lago, 23 of which offer space for 700 or more.
In comments to MeetingsNet, Chamber of Commerce head Baker had a message to planners that the destination has many advantages and no shortage of options for events. She said, “There is no better place for meeting planners to organize their events than in Palm Beach County and the island of Palm Beach. The town is magical, the location ideal for travelers with one of the top airports in the country. Beachfront hotels and boutique properties combined with the ocean and glorious plants make Palm Beach the place to meet.
Mar-a-Lago declined a MeetingsNet request for comment about the cancellations at the high-profile club, including if they were seeing an uptick in potential new group business that might offset the losses.