American Marketer


Mar-A-Lago sees canceled galas, events following President Trump’s polarizing statements

August 21, 2017

U.S. President Trump called his Mar-A-LAgo club the Winter White House. Image credit: Mar-A-Lago


United States President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago has seen a number of high-profile nonprofit organizations cancel events at the West Palm Beach, FL country club.

Following President Trump’s divisive comments on the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA, charities such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army have reconsidered holding their event at the Trump-owned property. The Trump hospitality brand has been seemingly unaffected by the polarizing administration, but as a significant portion of the country continues to find fault in President Trump’s politics, this may change.

According to reports by The Washington Post, President Trump’s Mar-A-Lago, dubbed as the Winter White House, often earned hundreds of thousands of dollars as the host venue of charity events.

After President Trump’s statements blaming the Unite the Right violence “on many sides” and putting the “alt-left” at equal blame, well-known charities began cancelling their scheduled events.

Galas and other events are often held in the ballroom at Mar-A-Lago. Image credit: Mar-A-Lago

Thus far, 14 charities have cancelled events at the Mar-A-Lago property. The Washington Post says this may cost Trump upwards to $1.1 million as gala events at the property are estimated at $100,000 and lunches between $24,000 to more than $80,000.

Those who have cancelled galas and dinners include the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the American Cancer Society, American Friends of Magen David Adom, Leaders in Furthering Education, the Palm Beach Zoo, the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach and the Susan G. Komen breast cancer charity as well as the Autism Project of Palm Beach County.

The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation, Morselife, Hearing the Ovarian Cancer Whisper and Big Dog Ranch Rescue have cancelled lunches planned at Mar-A-Lago.

In the future, it is likely that more organizations will cancel scheduled events at the property.

Mar-A-Lago's golf course often hosts charity matches. Image credit: Mar-A-Lago

When a brand is owned by an individual and the public does not agree with that person’s point of view on particular topics, whether it be white nationalism and neo-Nazism or homophobia, boycotts are common.

In 2014, influential figures joined a boycott against the Dorchester Collection, causing the brand to distance itself from the homophobic actions of Brunei, a country with deep ties to the brand's ownership.

Following the news that Brunei would be escalating its punishment of homosexuals from 10 years in prison to death by stoning, called for mass boycotts emerged, led by prominent figures such as fashion designer Brian Atwood and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres (see story).