Every September, which is childhood cancer awareness month, the Eric Trump Foundation hosts a golf invitational to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude’s is a vital organ to childhood cancer research and the Eric Trump foundation has done good in raising more than $11 million for the hospital. According to Eric, this is accomplished by how the charity is run, since Trump-owned golf courses can be used free of charge and most of the other costs required to host the event are covered by donations.
However, filings from the Eric Trump Foundation and other charities contradict this and show that the Trump Organization received payments for events held on its property, part of these payments having no documented recipients outside of the Trump Organization.
The Donald J. Trump Foundation, which isn’t new to charity-related scrutiny, apparently used the Eric Trump Foundation to direct $100,000 in donations supposed to be going towards St. Jude’s into revenue for the Trump Organization. While donors thought they were putting their money towards helping sick kids though St. Jude’s, more than half a million dollars were re-donated to different charities, some of which have ties to the Trump family.
Childhood cancer is infamous for being severely underfunded by the government, all types of childhood cancer combined receiving less than 4% of the United States federal funding put towards cancer research by the NCI. Research into finding cures for childhood cancers is spearheaded by charities. One woman interviewed by Humans of New York last year put it into perspective with her story.
“It was one of the most despicable things I’ve seen in my career. It was ten years ago. There were about twenty families being treated here whose kids had Neuroblastoma. The survival rate was about ten percent. One of our doctors developed an antibody that he thought was promising. But he’d run out of money. So he called a town hall meeting of sorts. He brought all the families together and told them he needed two million dollars. And they told him: ‘We’ll find it.’ We refer to them now as the Band of Parents. These people were desperate. Many of them were broke. And this burden was being placed on them. It made me sick. But they went back to their communities. They baked cookies, and organized bike rides, and held fundraisers named after their children. And they raised the money. All two million. And it worked. Dr. Cheung’s antibody worked. Today the survival rate is sixty percent. But it was so sad. Because deep in their hearts those parents knew the antibody would not be ready in time to save their child. But they raised the money anyway.”
Those wishing to join the fight against childhood cancer can find more information here. Information about Cure Fest, an organized event held on September 16 and 17 in Washington D.C. to raise awareness can be found here.