Two More Charities Cancel Mar-a-Lago Events After President Trump’s Charlottesville Comments
Two more organizations have pulled upcoming events scheduled to take place at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., following his controversial statements following violence incited by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., last week.
The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society and MorseLife both joined a growing list of nonprofits abandoning the President’s club, according to the Palm Beach Post. A total of 19 organizations have pulled events — many within the last week, according to the Post.
“We have an unyielding commitment to inspire people to act on behalf of wildlife and the natural world,” said Andrew Aiken, Palm Beach Zoo CEO and president, in a statement. “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 zoo moved its 2018 annual gala, where about 400 guests “mingle with wildlife,” from Mar-a-Lago.
MorseLife, a senior care organization, will not hold its annual luncheon at the club for the first time in a decade, according to the Post. The organization did not give a reason for the move.
Organizations like Salvation Army, American Red Cross, the Cleveland Clinic and the American Cancer Society all pulled their events from the venue this week after Trump appeared to defend people who marched in a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last weekend. The event turned deadly when Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal protesting racism, was killed when an alleged white nationalist drove into a crowd of counter-protesters. Two officers in a state helicopter were killed when the aircraft crashed while assisting police efforts for the event.
The Washington Post estimates that the decision by these organizations to host their events elsewhere will result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue for Mar-a-Lago.
Trump’s series of comments, which began when he blamed violence “on many sides” for the protest last weekend, were met with a onslaught of criticism from members of his own party, business leaders and artists. Several of his councils and committees disbanded after a number of members left them following his comments, and Trump’s entire committee on Arts and Humanities resigned.
Given the opportunity to clarify his comments during a press conference on Tuesday, Trump called some of the white supremacists and neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville last weekend “fine people.”
Representatives from MorseLife and the Trump Organization have not responded to requests for comment from FORTUNE.