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Updated Statement by the American Red Cross on the 60th International Red Cross Ball:

The 60th Annual International Red Cross Ball was held at Mar-A-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida on February 4, 2017. The International Red Cross Ball was founded 60 years ago by Marjorie Merriweather Post, who made her home at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. Since 2005, the Ball has been held at Mar-a-Lago every year except for 2013 and 2014. This annual event raises much needed funds to support the life-saving mission of the American Red Cross.

We are grateful to all those who attended this event and appreciate their generous donations which will help those affected by disasters, supply much-needed blood to patients and hospitals, teach life-saving skills, support our military and their families and provide international humanitarian aid. President Donald J. Trump has attended the International Red Cross Ball in the past, and we appreciate his support for our work. Starting with President Woodrow Wilson in 1913, the President of the United States has consistently served as the Honorary President or Chairman of the American Red Cross.

While the International Red Cross Ball is an annual affair, our work on the ground is ongoing. The American Red Cross, when requested by local authorities, will provide basic support to stranded travelers affected by the recent executive order on immigration, including providing food and water at ports of entry; blankets, toiletries and other aid; and health, mental health and spiritual care services. Our “Restoring Family Links” services are also available to help detainees and stranded travelers who have been separated internationally to reconnect with their loved ones. Our regional leaders continue to follow these issues closely and are in close contact with the relevant local authorities. At least one American Red Cross region has received and responded to a formal request for such assistance.

As always, the seven fundamental principles of the Red Cross govern our activities: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. These principles guide us as we provide humanitarian assistance while not engaging in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature so that we may continue to fulfill our mission and enjoy the confidence of all.

In response to the protest that took place at the Ball this year: we respect the right of all people to express their views and are thankful to live in a country where such discourse is embraced, and we are pleased these expressions did not hinder the efforts of an impartial humanitarian organization that serves the urgent needs of people at home and around the world.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.