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14 Charities Abruptly Cancel Fundraisers at Mar-a-Lago

At least 14 charities have abruptly ditched plans to hold their annual fundraisers at Trump's opulent Mar-a-Lago estate.
Image: Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in West Palm Beach, Florida
Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in West Palm Beach, Florida.Joe Raedle / Getty Images file

Corporate fallout over President Donald Trump's comments on the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, continues as two more charities announced this weekend they would be canceling gala fundraisers at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

"The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting and celebrating the unique architectural and cultural heritage of Palm Beach," the group wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday explaining its decision to withdraw. "Given the current environment surrounding Mar-a-Lago, we have made the decision to move our annual dinner dance."

On Sunday the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society announced it too would be moving its upcoming event away from the Trump property.

"We have an unyielding commitment to inspire people to act on behalf of wildlife and the natural world," said Zoo CEO & President Andrew Aiken in a statement Sunday. "After thoughtful consideration by Zoo leadership, we have decided it is important that we not allow distractions to deter us from our mission and culture.”

The moves follow a divisive press conference last Tuesday where Trump refused to draw distinctions between neo-Nazi ralliers and their counter-protesters, instead blaming "both sides."

One counter-protester died after a suspect who appeared to have been marching with the white nationalist groups plowed his car into the crowd.

The two cancellations this weekend join a wave of groups moving fundraisers away from the Trump estate that began Thursday and included the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the American Cancer Society, American Friends of Magen David Adom, and the Susan G. Komen breast cancer charity.

In all, 14 have canceled and only two events remain: The Palm Beach Police Foundation's annual Policeman Ball and the Palm Beach County Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day Dinner, according to reports.

The departures could cost the Trump Organization $1.1 million in total, the Washington Post estimated, with rental fees ranging from $24,000 to $276,000. Recent financial reports showed that the property generated around $37 million in revenue from January 2016 to April 2017. Profits from Mar-a-Lago are placed in a trust for the duration of Trump's presidency while Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. manage the estate.

Related: How Much Time is Trump Spending at Trump Properties?

Charlottesville's aftermath has prompted other breakups between certain companies and customers, from hosting providers to the high seas.

Last week, Norwegian Cruise Lines canceled the week-long meeting of a far-right group based in Canada after a petition against it was circulated by anti-racist advocacy organization Hope not Hate.

“We recently became aware that one of several affinity groups that booked space on an upcoming sailing was associated with and espoused views that are inconsistent with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' core values," the cruise line said in a statement.

"The company has therefore exercised its right to cancel this group’s reservation and provide a full refund."