South Florida charity says canceling fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago not politically motivated

Unicorn Children's Foundation event slated for Jan. 18, 2018

PALM BEACH, Fla. – A South Florida charity is making waves on social media after canceling a big fundraiser at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

Unicorn Children's Foundation CEO Sharon Alexander said pulling their fundraiser out of Mar-a-Lago was by no means a political move.

"Our decision was based on the focus on the issues, not the venue," Alexander said.

The Unicorn Children's Foundation is a 22-year-old nonprofit focused on creating innovative programs and services to help children with disabilities.

A luncheon fashion show was slated to be held at Mar-a-Lago on Jan. 18, 2018, but recent political turmoil made her and the rest of the executive board reassess and ultimately decided it was best not to go through with the fundraiser.

"We hope that by actually canceling the event, we can shift the conversation back to what's important and how we can best help kids with special needs," Alexander said.

The foundation lost $160,000 by pulling out of the venue, money it was expecting to make from the event.

The Unicorn Children's Foundation became the latest in a growing list of organizations that had events scheduled at the Palm Beach venue, but decided to cancel. The list of cancellations includes the Cleveland Clinic, American Red Cross, American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Alexander said the foundation is gaining attention nationwide because of their decision, including some not-so-nice comments on social media.

"We were almost bullied by individuals," she said.

Despite some of the backlash, the foundation is also receiving tremendous support and donations have been pouring in.

"We've really increased awareness of what it is we do and, for us, that's a win," Alexander said.

Alexander said there are no plans to reschedule the event at a different venue at this time.

About the Authors:

Jenise Fernandez joined the Local 10 News team in November 2014. She is thrilled to be back home reporting for the station she grew up watching. Jenise, who is from Miami and graduated from Florida International University, also interned at Local 10 while she was in college.

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