Local Outrage at Trump Winged Foot Gala Goes National

Protests Expected Over Westchester Golf Club Flap

By Abby Luby

Larchmont resident Jenny Geer may see a security detail of cars snaking its way past her house heading to the nearby Winged Foot Golf course next Wednesday, August 4. Former President Donald Trump will be chauffeured in one of those cars to a planned gala in his honor.

“This is really in my back yard,” said Geer, a grass-roots organizer and co-leader of Mamaroneck Larchmont Indivisible, a national activist organization. “The people in our group are very upset about this, especially since the House Select Committee is holding hearings on the January 6th insurrection.”

A recent story on NBC News reported that “quiet plans” were being made for a Trump tribute banquet at the prestigious Winged Foot club and golf course. In the article, Winged Foot members who strongly resented the event anonymously voiced their opposition. Apparently, efforts to have the banquet canceled have failed.  

The Examiner reached out to club member Ted Virtue, who is hosting the gala. Virtue, a long-time Trump supporter, is CEO of MidOcean Partners, a New York-based private equity investment firm. According to the company’s public relations firm, Virtue declined to comment on next week’s gala.

As of yesterday, the Winged Foot Twitter account went offline, saying the account no longer existed. “Winged Foot is rightfully embarrassed by this news,” said Amy Siskind, expressing her opinion about the club’s erased Twitter account. Siskind, a Westchester-based activist, is the author of “The List: A Week-by-Week Reckoning of Trump’s First Year” and organizer of the “We the People March” movement.

“This is hurting Winged Foot’s name nationally.”

“This is hurting Winged Foot’s name nationally,” Siskind said. “To honor a man who tried to overthrow our democracy in plain sight, resulting in a bloody insurrection, is intolerable for our area.”

According to the Mamaroneck Historical Society, Donald Trump received 31 percent of the vote in Westchester and 17 percent in Mamaroneck in 2020, one of the lowest Republican percentages ever recorded in the town.

Trump has been a member of Winged Foot for over 50 years. Membership is by invitation only, and the waiting list is a decade long. Once accepted, initiation fees are said to be $200,000.

The Examiner also reached out to Trump friend Rob Astorino, whose press person said the former Westchester County Executive didn’t even know about the gala. Requests for comment that went unanswered include ones to Mamaroneck Chief of Police Paul Creazzo regarding security detail preparation and to Colin Burns, General Manager at the Winged Foot Golf Club.

Pushback to Trump’s Winged Foot gala is expected, along with demonstrations in Briarcliff Manor the following day at an invitation-only Republican fundraiser at the Trump National Golf Club Westchester. The event is charging an entry fee of $1,000 per person. A photo-op with Trump costs $5,000 a couple, and to take part in a reception, a roundtable, and a photo-op costs $25,000 per couple.

An international match during the $10,000 Goodall Round Robin Tournament at Winged Foot in 1946. Founded in 1921 by mostly male members of the New York Athletic Club and opened in 1923, the Mamaroneck golf club was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2019. (Getty Images)

“Trump’s not welcome either place,” said Siskind, adding that organizing protests is not only happening in Briarcliff Manor and Mamaroneck, but she has heard people were upset and shocked by the Winged Foot Gala from as far away as Oregon and Massachusetts. “Organizing is getting underway — activism takes a few days to come together.”

Also working on a local protest of the controversial event is Shannon Powell, co-founder of Indivisible Westchester and a resident of Larchmont. “Donald Trump instigated a violent attack on our Capitol and continues to perpetuate lies about the outcome of the 2020 election,” Powell said in a statement to The Examiner. “Authoritarianism, corruption, and hatred should not be celebrated. We stand with club members who are outraged by plans to hold such an event.”