On Sunday, the club will host a 500-person fundraiser for a children’s charity – with vintage cars, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and “everyone playing by the pool,” according to the Palm Beach real estate agent. Valentina Aved, who helped organize the event.
The $ 375 invite-only party to benefit Place of Hope is sold out, Aved says, and no one seems concerned about the outbreak.
“It will be a very exciting event. The nicest cars, the people, the good friends, ”she told The Daily Beast.
The charity’s Instagram also promised “hundreds of historic cars on display, shows, a fashion show, brunch and more!” He doesn’t mention coronavirus precautions. The party’s website once refers to “sanitation stations” and “space for social distancing”.
The event will be held outdoors after multiple infections forced the club’s dining hall and beach venue to close. In an email to members, first reported by The Associated Press, Mar-a-Lago said, “some of our employees recently tested positive for COVID-19” but promised that “all measures appropriate responses ”were taken. Affected areas were being cleaned up and some workers were under quarantine, but banquet and event services remain open, he said.
Aved, who goes by Valentina Deva on Instagram, told the Daily Beast that two kitchen staff have tested positive. She was in Mar-a-Lago last week at two wild fundraising events for a dog charity, Big Dog Ranch Rescue, chaired by Donald Trump’s stepdaughter, Lara Trump.
Usually, the annual gala – almost always held at Trump’s properties – attracts at least 800 people, but, due to COVID-19, organizers have split the event into two gatherings of about 500 people over two days.
Aved insisted that everyone was wearing masks and doing their best to socially move away – “maybe not six feet, but at least three feet away” – in the Grand Ballroom.
But dozens of photos and videos from the event show almost no attendees wearing masks, and women shouting and gathering to take photos.
In a video from the event posted by Miami philanthropist Angela Bird, a topless model walked a catwalk as a maskless woman screamed and clapped at nearby tables.
The events, with dog shows and an auction, are said to have grossed $ 1.4 million. Neither Place of Hope, Big Dog Ranch Rescue, nor Mar-a-Lago responded to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on the precautions taken.
Bird, who is on the charity’s board of directors, told the Daily Beast that she had not heard of a single person who tested positive while attending the event. She said the masks were handed out at the entrance and everyone was welcome to wear them until they were seated.
Lara Trump also attended the fundraiser. Donald Trump himself showed up halfway, telling the crowd he heard their raucous noises from the golf course and came to “check on what you’re doing,” according to Aved.
Trump was seen hugging people as a mostly maskless crowd took photos and chanted, “We love you, we love you.”
In other videos from the past week, Melania Trump was seen joining her husband in a dining room, mobbed by more customers without masks.
The former first family moved to Mar-a-Lago for good after leaving the White House in January. Donald and Melania were there on Friday preparing for their son Barron’s 15th birthday when the outbreak became public, according to CNN.
Aved said she checked out her friends in light of the club’s positive cases. Some had returned to Miami, others to New York, where inbound travelers are supposed to quarantine or show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result. Neither of them felt sick, she said.
Florida State Representative Omari Hardy, a Democrat, called on Palm Beach County to shut down Mar-a-Lago in January after a New Years Eve party drew hundreds of maskless revelers. The county sent the club a stern letter warning it that it had violated county codes and could be fined $ 15,000.
Hardy said Florida House has passed a COVID-19 liability bill that will grant companies like Mar-a-Lago immunity despite irresponsible behavior.
The tweeted Friday night: “The workers don’t deserve this.”