By Arianna Delin, Sharon Robb for Grand Champions Polo Club
For the fourth consecutive year, Grand Champions Polo Club will host the Great Futures Celebrity Polo Match on Sunday.
The nation’s busiest and most innovative polo club has assembled some of the top players and horses for a fun morning of polo that begins at 10 a.m.
Nacho Figueras, the sport’s ambassador, heads the star-studded event that raises money for the Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington.
American television personality John Walsh, a criminal investigator, human and victim rights advocate and creator of America’s Most Wanted, will also compete. Walsh and Figueras are Honorary Event Chairs for the event.
|John Walsh and Nacho Figueras are Honorary Chairs for Sunday’s event. File Photo|
Among players will be Nic Roldan, Brandon Phillips and Martin Pepa.
Walsh is an avid polo player who competes throughout the world and plays in several charity events across the nation.
“It is a terrific event,” Walsh said. “It’s a great group of people coming together to help the Boys & Girls Club, the lifeline for many of these kids. These clubs are changing children’s lives one child at a time. They do God’s work.”
|Event organizers John Walsh, Neil Hirsch, Nacho Figueras and Melissa Ganzi surrounded by the club’s boys and girls. File Photo|
Figueras is the sport’s international ambassador and one of the most well-recognized players in the world as the face of Ralph Lauren.
“It is always fun when you can play polo and do something for kids,” Figueras said.
In last year’s event, the Equuleus team of Joe DiMenna, Juan Bollini, Martin Pepa and Juan Olivera won. Riley Ganzi was named Most Valuable Player.
|Winning team Equuleus, Joe DiMenna, Juan Bollini, Martin Pepa, Juan Olivera and trophy presenter Neil Hirsch. File Photo|
Grand Champions president and USPA Florida Circuit Governor Melissa Ganzi and her husband Marc are thrilled Grand Champions is hosting the event for the fourth year.
In addition to Sunday’s morning event, the Ganzi family and Hirsch will host an asado at Santa Rita Farm on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in appreciation of the Great Futures Polo Day sponsors. All Grand Champions members, players and sponsors are invited to attend. Those interested should RSVP Juan Olivera by Wednesday at 561-601-9316.
Each year the annual charity event has been embraced by the polo community.
Martin Pepa having fun with some of the YMCA kids.
Photo by ChukkerTV
“This is such a great event for the Wellington community,” Melissa Ganzi said. “Marc and I live in Wellington, it’s our home. Grand Champions Polo Club and Santa Rita Farm are based here.
“What Neil has done for the community of Wellington is just above and beyond. Neil is so generous. He takes such pride in what he is doing in the community. The boys and girls club makes a difference in so many people’s lives.”
Proceeds from the fundraiser celebrity match and Valentine Farm “Great Futures Brunch At Polo” at International Polo Club Palm Beach at 12:30 p.m., featuring a silent and live auction, benefit the boys and girls club. Attendees will be treated to the opening day of the USPA Gold Cup featuring Grand Champions Polo Club-based pro team Audi with Marc Ganzi, Tomacho Pieres, Gonzalito Pieres and Rodrigo Andrade. Audi plays Orchard Hill at 3 p.m.
|YMCA kids surround Nic Roldan after a fun day in the gym. Photo by ChukkerTV|
The Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys and Girls Club of Wellington along with twelve other Boys and Girls Clubs in Palm Beach County and more than 1,100 in the United States, provides services including after-school activities and camp opportunities in a safe environment to underprivileged kids, ages 6-18.
Those interested in sponsorship packages or attending the brunch can contact firstname.lastname@example.org call 561-683-3287.
Sunday morning’s polo match is free to the public. Sponsors and guests are invited along with all of the supporters of the Boys & Girls Club including the club’s children and their families to attend.
The Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club of Wellington is located at 1080 Wellington Trace. The non-profit organization is open year-round and serves 7,000 children.