Is there no end to the left’s demands?
Activists are now petitioning that South Florida charity galas be removed from the area’s most suitable venue to host such events — President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago resort.
Since Trump opened the grounds nearly 12 years ago, the resort’s opulent ballroom has been the in-place to hold charity fundraisers by groups such as American Red Cross, hospitals, medical researchers and other charities, The Associated Press reported.
Such events, attended by wealthy Balm Beachers, often net charities upwards of $1 million in a single evening.
But Trump’s election to the White House could bring this all to a screeching halt — especially now that Mar-a-Lago has been dubbed the Winter White House.
The AP reported:
With Trump placing a moratorium on refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries and his promises to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, activists are pressuring charities such as the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Cleveland Clinic to move or cancel their galas this month.
As the International Red Cross held a gala fundraiser Saturday at Mar-a-Lago, about three thousand demonstrators marched nearby to protest Trump’s now-blocked executive order temporarily limiting immigration. The event ended peacefully, and there were no arrests.
And because such events are often planned a year or more in advance, it places an undue burden on the charities themselves.
One such charity event is the Boston-based Dana-Farber “Discovery Celebration,” scheduled for February 18, which features a performance by Grammy Award winner David Foster.
Harvard Medical School students and faculty are among the more than 2,000 petition-signers demanding that the event be moved. Ticket prices for the event begin at $1,250 and go up from there.
George Karandinos, 30, a Harvard Medical School student that organized the petition, has little sympathy for the charity and claims that Dana-Farber may even attract more donors by canceling.
“They can make a public moral stand that is in line with their stated values” of diversity and supporting scientific exchanges across borders he said, according to The AP.
The Cleveland Clinic is receiving similar backlash for its own gala, “Reflections of Versailles: A Night in the Hall of Mirrors,” scheduled for February 25. Tickets for that event also begin at $1,250.
An open letter condemning the venue for that gala has more than 1,100 signatures.
Both charities are digging in their heels, however. The AP reported:
Both Dana-Farber and the Cleveland Clinic said they won’t move or cancel their events, but added that it doesn’t mean they support the president’s policies. Applications filed with the town of Palm Beach show Dana-Farber expects to raise $1.25 million after paying expenses of $250,000. The Red Cross says it will make $950,000 after spending $400,000. A portion of those expenses would go to Mar-a-Lago. The town did not immediately release Cleveland Clinic’s application.
Location, size, cost and availability all come into play when selecting a site for a fundraising gala, according to Mary Simboski, who teaches fundraising at Boston University, and described the notion that charities could receive more financial support by canceling their events as wishful thinking.
“Hope is not a strategy,” she said.
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