A triathlon to raise money for children with cancer at Trump National Golf Club in North Carolina has been canceled just days after the race director dropped President Trump’s name from the event, saying the “best way to avoid a situation is to not create one at all.”
Chuck McAllister, the organizer of “Tri at the Trump,” revealed last week on Facebook that he was hoping to announce the name change after the Oct. 8 race but that “circumstances” had forced him to act sooner.
“Our name is changed to Tri for GOOD,” McAllister wrote. “Our [race’s] whole premise is to make money for kids with cancer and other life-threatening medical issues.”
The race’s association to Trump was based on the course’s willingness to provide a first-class venue, its “outstanding team” and an unmatched breakfast buffet after the race, McAllister said.
“Period!!!” McAllister’s post continued. “I hope by making this announcement we can focus on what our core values are and the goals we are trying to achieve with our race.”
But four days later, he canceled the entire event. A Facebook post on Saturday announced that everyone who signed up would receive a full refund.
“This decision did not come easily, but was the only choice we had in light of events that have occurred over the last week,” the post read. “We will continue to support our beneficiaries and their causes.”
The decision was made to cancel the race rather than seeing it become even more politicized, McAllister told the Charlotte Observer.
“The best way to avoid a situation is to not create one at all,” McAllister said Saturday.
McAllister, who is a member of the golf club and held a fundraiser there for Trump’s campaign last summer, said he plans to bring the race back next year after tensions and political divisions surrounding Trump’s presidency hopefully subside. The race had been held three previous years, he said.
“I’m sad,” McAllister told the newspaper. “I’m flat-out sad by it that I had to make this decision. But it was the right decision to make for the interest of everyone involved.”
McAllister, meanwhile, told The Daily Tarheel that participation in the race dropped after Trump began his presidential campaign. More than 350 people participated in the triathlon during the first two races held prior to the 2016 election, he said.
“A lot of people didn’t want to sign up,” McAllister said. “This year, it’s become more extreme…