The 7th annual “Great Futures Celebrity Polo Charity Cup & Brunch” benefiting the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington took place on Sunday, March 8, raising more than $200,000 for club programming. Co-chairs were Neil Hirsch, Marc and Melissa Ganzi as well as Olexa Celine.
For the seventh consecutive year, Grand Champions Polo Club was the host of the morning’s celebrity polo match featuring honorary event chairmen, Nacho Figueras, Polo’s international ambassador and Nic Roldan, captain of the U.S. Polo Team.
“It is always fun when you can play polo and do something for the members of the Neil S. Hirsch Boys & Girls Club” Figueras said.
Other polo pros and patrons who participated in the three-team, round robin tournament were Antonio Aguerre, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Nacho Novillo Astrada, Santos Novillo Astrada, Joe DiMenna, Pablo Mac Donough, Milo Mac Donough, Martin Pepa, Indi Pieres and Fran Spinacci.
The Equuleus team featuring Joe DiMenna, Milo Mac Donough, Pablo Mac Dounough and Martin Pepa took home the title for the third year in a row as the Great Futures Polo Day Champions, winning the overall competition. Milo Mac Donough was named the Most Valuable Player at just 8 years old, and DiMenna’s horse was named best playing pony.
“Polo and charity go together,” Event Co-Chair Neil Hirsch said. “These polo players are more like family. They come out here and do this for no personal financial gain. They do it for the children.”
“Neil Hirsch has set a great example for our polo community by giving back to those who need us most here in Wellington – our children,” Event Co-Chair Melissa Ganzi said. “The celebrity match is making an impact on the club members, their families and our community.”
The celebrity match was followed by a brunch at the International Polo Club Mallet Grille. Nearly 200 guests had an opportunity to participate in a dynamic live auction that featured Sheriff for a Day, DJ For A Day on the KVJ Show, Polo in Aspen, a Cruise on the Fly, Napa Valley Wine Experience, A Private Villa in St. James, and the most sought after item of the day, Nacho Figueras autographed game-worn jerseys and lessons.
Wellington Youth of the Year Teyonna Smith shared with the crowd her club experience in an impressively eloquent, yet humorous speech. A once shy club member had guests laughing and charged to get involved. After brunch, guests enjoyed the 3 p.m. polo match.
Sponsors are an integral part of this celebration, and some of this year’s sponsors included Sebilion Farm and Olexa Celine, Joe and Diana DiMenna and the Equuleus Polo Team, Marc & Melissa Ganzi and the Grand Champions Polo Club, Neil S. Hirsch and Dr. Laura DeLuca, Evelyn V. McPherson Foundation, Alonso & Associates, Desich Family, BMO Wealth Management, Halperin, Liebman & Passeroff Families, Hubbard Radio, Modern Luxury Magazine, Waste Management, PoloGear, Laz Parking, Scott Grody Travel and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
Proceeds from the day’s events support the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington, one of 13 Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County. The club provides services during non-school hours, as well as summer camp opportunities, to nearly 1,000 boys and girls from ages 6 to 18. The club emphasizes educational, vocational, social, recreational, health, leadership, and character-building skills in a positive and safe atmosphere. Through quality programs, the Club experience provides children with the guidance they need to make a healthy transition from childhood to young adulthood.
For more information about this event or Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County, call (561) 683-3287 or visit www.bgcpbc.org.
Photos by Polo Paparazzi