The chance for a "private reception and photo opportunity" with President-elect Donald Trump or a "multi-day hunting and/or fishing excursion" with his sons is up for grabs — so long as a $1 million donation is given first. The nonprofit Opening Day Foundation, created less than a week ago and led by Trump's sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, is offering up these prizes in exchange for donations to "unnamed 'conservation' charities," the Center for Public Integrity reported.
The awards ceremony — or as it's being called, Opening Day 2017 — is slated for Jan. 21, the day after Trump is inaugurated. The brochure describes the event as both "honoring President Donald J. Trump" and celebrating "the great American tradition of outdoor sporting, shooting, fishing, and conservation." "It's not going to be a black tie event. It's going to be boots and jeans and camouflage and it's going to raise a lot of money to go to sportsman's charities," said Mike Ingram, an Arizona developer who is listed as a director of the nonprofit alongside Trump's sons.
Sponsor packages range from $25,000 to $1 million, and other prizes include tickets to events and "autographed guitars by an Opening Day 2017 performer." Nonprofits aren't required to disclose donors' names, meaning sponsors could "write seven-figure checks for access to the president while staying anonymous, if they choose," the Center for Public Integrity wrote.
While the specifics of the event and the Trump family's involvement remain vague, ethicists are raising their eyebrows. "This is problematic on so many levels," said Larry Noble, the general counsel of the campaign reform organization Campaign Legal Center. "This is Donald Trump and the Trump family using a brand new organization to raise $1 million contributions for a vague goal of giving money to conservation charities, which seems a way of basically just selling influence and selling the ability to meet with the president."
Read the Center for Public Integrity's full story over at Time.