Paul Anka, the world-renowned recording artist, is pushing back on a charity he was scheduled to perform for after they snubbed President Donald J. Trump by canceling an event at his Mar-a-Largo resort.
Anka, 76, who began his career as a teenager, received a $75,000 deposit when he was booked to perform his act on Dec. 2 at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Hired for Dec 2. by the non-profit group, LIFE (Leaders in Furthering Education), which was to host the Palm Beach Lady in Red Gala that night, Anka accepted the deposit and his gig was set.
However, that all changed when President Donald J. Trump issued his statements in the aftermath of the Charlottesville, Va., riots that left one dead and many injured on Aug 12.
The president blamed the violence on participants from both sides of the debate over a monument of Gen. Robert E. Lee being removed from a town park. Many people subsequently condemned the president, citing his failure to use stronger language in condemning white nationalists and white supremacists, and more specifically, David Duke and the KKK.
The backlash against the president has caused more than a few cancellations at his Florida resort.
LIFE, which is run by the widow of National Enquirer founder Generoso Pope, not only cancelled the evening at Mar-A-Largo, but it also changed the date. The gala will now be held on Jan. 5 at a nearby venue, called “Breakers.”
For Anka to perform on the new date, he would have to interrupt a vacation planned with his family to tour Europe. Unwilling to cancel or alter his vacation plans, Anka rejected the new date and venue. LIFE asked if they could get the $75,000 deposit returned. Anka rejected that request as well.
According to Anka’s agent, the performer told LIFE organizers, “This is not negotiable. You will not get a penny back,” when asked if the deposit could be applied to next year’s performance.
Pope is said to be saddened by Anka’s decision, was quoted as saying the following: “It took quite a bit of time to secure Paul’s performance, time that could have been better spent helping those who are beneficiaries of the Lady in Red Gala proceeds, from physically disabled veterans and veterans with PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] and TBI [traumatic brain injury], to animals in need of rescue, [and] shelter and treatment during natural disasters such as what is happening in Texas.”
Pope continued by saying, “We went out of our way to accommodate him. So, I’m sad and disheartened that he is not making the time or the same kind of effort to accommodate us in any way.”
Anka is standing strong in his conviction and says, “I run a small business. I’ve got overhead. I’ve got people on salary. They’re guilt-tripping me, asking me to take a hit, but we didn’t cause the problem. They need to eat it. It’s their problem.”
Commenting on this story, CEO of DML NEWS, Dennis Michael Lynch said, “I hate to see any charity that supports veterans lose money, but I wonder how many veterans would actually support LIFE’s decision to pull from Mar-A-Largo? Not many. Anka is correct on this one.”
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