The Sharon K. Pacheco (SKP) Foundation announced Saturday evening that it has canceled its upcoming 2011 Patriots & Warriors Charity Gala featuring former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, citing safety concerns.
"Due to an onslaught of personal attacks against Governor Palin and others associated with her appearance, it is with deep sadness and disappointment that, in the best interest of all, we cancel the event for safety concerns," Foundation director said.
The event -- a fundraiser for military families who have lost relatives in combat -- was scheduled to be held May 2 in Denver.
ABC 7 in Denver reports:
The Patriots & Warriors Gala and Fundraiser is an event with a two-fold purpose - first to honor service members and those who have given of themselves in service and/or sacrifice to our country. Americans are encouraged to nominate deserving individuals for the organization's Freedom Award, which will be handed out to the honorees during this event.
The former vice presidential candidate was scheduled to give the gala's keynote address -- an announcement made Friday on the organization's website. While no direct threats have been made against Palin, but a recent increase in negative rhetoric aimed at Palin "raises concern for her safety and the safety of others despite the call for civility in America" following the tragic Tucson shooting, the director said.
The group's announcement also stressed the need to make military families as comfortable as possible:
Additionally, we must protect the emotional safety of military families. "Military members and their families have been through a lot due to the wars. We have a responsibility to protect their emotional safety just as well," says Founder Leo Pacheco. "And unfortunately, some have overshadowed the purpose of this event by concentrating on their personal hatred of Sarah Palin, which is truly sad."
Although Palin will be unable to join them in honoring military families, the director noted that the organization deeply respects Palin and appreciates her support for the military.
The event will be rescheduled with a new speaker, TBD.