The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation will move its annual golf tournament fundraiser away from Trump National Philadelphia after this year’s event, the organization said Monday.
In response to an inquiry by a Washington Post reporter, the foundation explained that cancelling or moving the event — set to be held Sept. 11 at the course in Pine Hill, N.J. — would “not best support our mission.” After honoring the final year of a multi-year contract, they plan to search for a different venue for 2019.
The Philadelphia Flyers Celebrity Golf Invitational isn’t organized or run by the team, but the Flyers provide players, coaches and alumni for 18 holes plus brunch, a silent auction and a reception. It has been held at Trump National for the past seven years, according to the foundation’s statement.
The proceeds from the event, which the statement says is the organization’s “most important annual fundraiser,” go to the foundation created by the late Flyers founder. The nonprofit serves “more than 3,000 under-resourced children, youth, and families” while helping to make hockey more accessible in the Philadelphia region.
The statement lauded the service provided by Trump National: donations of greens fees and charging the team just for food and beverages. But citing “passions that have been stirred by recent events,” the team said it plans to move.
President Trump and his administration have recently been under fire for the no-tolerance approach to immigration at the United States’ southern border that has resulted in hundreds of children being separated from their parents. The uproar is the latest in a series of scandals that have plagued the president and his staff since he took office in January of 2017.
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Trump is in a unique situation as a president whose name is branded on a number of private properties across the world, including Trump National south of Philadelphia. In this era, is it a political statement to host an event at a Trump property?
Last year, Scott Tharp, president of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, told the Washington Post he worried it could be seen that way.
The Washington Post reported in September that 19 charities cancelled events to be held last summer at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, the same resort Trump often visits when he leaves the capital. Cancellations came after the president’s comments following last year’s protests and counter-protests surrounding the removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Va., that left one woman dead.
It’s unclear if what’s happening at the border will result in cancellations this summer, Post reporter David Fahrenthold said.
So far, I've seen no sign that the controversy over separation of families has affected @realDonaldTrump's biz in the way that Charlottesville did, or his initial comments abt Mexicans in 2015. No customers backihg out. https://t.co/yDBTcUnZsG
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) June 25, 2018
It’s not just golf courses, either: in a survey last year, the Washington Post found a number of pro sports teams stopped staying at Trump hotels in New York City and Chicago.