Cleveland Clinic won't move Mar-a-Lago event despite protest

The American Cancer Society announced Thursday it will no longer hold its 2018 fundraising gala at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., according to The Washington Post.

Laurel Baker, head of the Palm Beach chamber of commerce, said that her advice to nearby charities was, "If you're looking at your mission statement, can you honestly say having an event at Mar-a-Lago, given all that has transpired, is the best stewardship of your efforts?" "It has become increasingly clear that the challenge to those values is outweighing other business considerations", it said in a statement to the Palm Beach Post.

Palm Beach town records showed that 21 charities held events at Mar-a-Lago between last November and April, during the active social season. Others include the Cleveland Clinic and the American Cancer Society.

The nationwide health organization confirmed it is seeking a new venue to host its Island of Palm Beach gala on February 22, 2018 in a statement to HuffPost.

"The event has been held there for a number of years, and the folks supporting it want to continue to have it there", spokesman Gary Schweikhart said. The Clinic came under fire for holding the event at the Florida resort.

The American Friends of Magen David Adom, a group that supports Israel's national ambulance, blood-services and disaster-relief organization, confirmed that it, too, has made a decision to move its annual gala to another location.

The letter said the hospital's support for the Trump Organization was unacceptable "because it symbolically and financially supports a politician actively working to decrease access to healthcare and cut billions of dollars in research funding from the National Institutes of Health budget". She did add that the fundraiser's donors enjoyed the venue in the past, which was why they had held it there in years past.

The American Cancer Society and Cleveland Clinic are just the latest organizations to distance themselves from Trump following almost a week of withering criticism over his response to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that left one dead and dozens injured.

Though the clinic did not go into specific reasons in its statement, their withdrawal comes as a raft of CEOs left Trump's business councils, leading to their disbandment.

The Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on the cancelled events.

Vanessa Coleman

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