Red Cross Ankles Mar(red)-a-Lago

Friday, August 25, 2017

The International Red Cross Ball is not only leaving Mar-a-Lago this season, the glittering, 60-year-old event attended by dignitaries from around the globe–long a highlight of the Palm Beach social season–will NOT be rescheduled for 2018.

This startling report followed the news that more than 20 Palm Beach charities have canceled this season’s galas at the Mar-a-Lago Club as a result of public comments in which President Donald J. Trump, the club’s owner, had minimized the racist and anti-Semitic agendas of the white supremacists who demonstrated on Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In a statement posted online last week, The American Red Cross wrote that it cannot host its annual fundraising event at Mar-a-Lago as it has increasingly become “a source of controversy and pain for many of our volunteers, employees and supporters. We have canceled this event altogether for 2018.”

The statement further explained that this action will allow the organization to continue to put the focus on their lifesaving mission and the people they serve: “The Red Cross provides assistance without discrimination to all people in need, regardless of nationality, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or political opinions, and we must be clear and unequivocal in our defense of that principle.”

The future of this gala has not been confirmed. “We have nothing further to add at this time,” a media representative for the American Red Cross in Washington, DC, told AVENUE.

The International Red Cross Ball, which has attracted popular actors like Pierce Brosnan and Susan Lucci, and has traditionally been an important part of the glamorous resort’s social season, was launched in 1957 by Mar-a-Lago creator Marjorie Merriweather Post after years of donating to the Red Cross.

Other Palm Beach area nonprofit groups like the American Cancer Society, Cleveland Clinic, Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach and Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society have previously announced that they are leaving Mar-a-Lago and moving to The Breakers and other suitable venues for their fundraising events this season.

Illustration by Paul Dickinson


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