How fast things change in Donald Trump’s world.
In April, Mar-a-Lago, the president’s private club in Palm Beach, was the hottest place to be in South Florida. Heads of states came to dine with The Donald while well-heeled members milled about and up to 500 tuxedoed charity fundraiser guests gawked.
Less than four months later, Mar-a-Lago is suddenly a dirty word — courtesy of Trump’s inability to pick a side in the deadly Charlottesville protests.
And when it reopens in November, the beachfront club could end up downright cavernous as more than half a dozen major non-profits notified Mar-a-Lago they’d hold winter galas planned for the club’s gilded grand ballroom somewhere else.
It started Thursday when Cleveland Clinic, a research hospital with a site in West Palm Beach, announced it would change venues for its $1 million fundraiser in February, possibly to a nearby hotel.
The research hospital had held the event at Mar-a-Lago for the past eight years.
Shortly after the announcement, the American Cancer Society turned its back on Trump’s “Winter White House,” canceling not just one but two events.
“Our values and commitment to diversity are critical as we work to address the impact of cancer in every community,” read the Society’s statement regarding re-booking of the 2018 sponsor dinner and 60th anniversary gala. “It has become increasingly clear that the challenge to those values is outweighing other business considerations.”
And Friday morning, the Salvation Army walked as well, joining the American Red Cross, Susan G. Komen and the Autism Association of Palm Beach County.
The American Friends of Magen David Adom, a group supporting Israel’s ambulance and disaster relief programs, also pulled its event from the club, a shindig that last year drew 600 attendees who paid $650 each to get in.
“After considerable deliberation, AFMDA — an apolitical and humanitarian aid organization — will not hold its 2018 Palm Beach Celebration of Life Gala at Mar-a-Lago,” the group announced.
Charity galas traditionally have been a major stream of revenue for Mar-a-Lago.
In the past, the ballroom was used for nonprofit fundraisers two to three times a week from November through April. Mar-a-Lago rented out the ballroom but also provided the four- to five-course meals and drinks.
Guests in evening wear paid between $500 to $1,000 to attend.
As of now, some nonprofits are staying the course, including West Palm Beach’s Kravis Center For The Performing Arts, Big Dog Ranch Rescue (Trump daughter-in-law Lara Trump is the event’s chairwoman) and Leaders in Furthering Education, National Enquirer heiress Lois Pope’s Dec. 2 shindig.