Some char­i­ties think­ing twice about galas at Trump’s re­sort

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - BUSINESS -

WASH­ING­TON >> A sta­ple of Palm Beach’s high-end phi­lan­thropy cir­cuit, the Mar-a-Lago Club boasts rich his­tory, an 800-seat ball­room and ocean views. But some ma­jor char­i­ties and fundrais­ers are now con­cerned with a dif­fer­ent fea­ture: the prop­erty’s owner, Don­ald Trump.

Fol­low­ing the leak of Trump boast­ing about grab­bing women by their gen­i­tals and al­le­ga­tions that he in­ap­pro­pri­ately touched women — in two in­stances at Mar-a-Lago — the Susan G. Komen Foun­da­tion is lean­ing to­ward find­ing a new lo­ca­tion for its Per­fect Pink Party on Jan. 14, a mil­lion-dol­lar breast cancer fundraiser it booked a year ago.

The char­ity has no po­si­tion on Trump, the GOP pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee, but wants to keep its event sep­a­rate from “con­tro­ver­sies un­re­lated to our mis­sion,” said An­drea Rader, a spokes­woman for the or­ga­ni­za­tion. The group won’t make a fi­nal de­ci­sion about whether to aban­don its de­posit un­til after Oc­to­ber, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

But, Rader said, “those are things that have to be dis­cussed.”

Event plan­ners who spoke with the AP fore­cast trou­ble ahead for the high-end party space.

“There’s a cloud over Mar-a-Lago,” said Lynne Gold­berg of Boca En­ter­tain­ment, Inc., a party plan­ner who has over­seen nu­mer­ous wed­dings and fundrais­ers at the venue, in­clud­ing a 2014 gala for the March of Dimes. She stressed her opinion had noth­ing to do with politics.

“The sad part is that the venue is so beau­ti­ful — it’s con­sid­ered the ul­ti­mate to hold an event in. What we want to do as event plan­ners is to make ev­ery­one happy. The last thing you want is for some­one to say, oh my God, how could she hold an event there?” she said.

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