Great Futures Celebrity Polo Match Sunday At Grand Champions Polo Club

Grand Champions Polo Club will kick off one of its busiest months of the year with the sixth annual Great Futures Celebrity Polo Match on Sunday.

The nation’s largest and innovative polo club has assembled top players, sponsors and horses for a good cause and morning of fun polo that begins at 10 a.m.

Neil Hirsch hoists the trophy with Grand Champions winning team of Jeff Desich, Rich Desich, Nacho Novillo Astrada and Nacho Figueras.

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.

The star power of several top polo players is always a positive draw in raising funds for the facility that serves hundreds of children. Among pro players are 10-goaler Pablo MacDonough, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Magoo Laprida, Inaki Laprida and Juan Bollini.

Team sponsors and rosters for the four-chukker round robin are:

Sebilion: Sarah Magness, Dawn Jones, Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Juan Bollini.

Grand Champions: Riley Ganzi, Nacho Figueras, Santos Bollini, Pablo MacDonough.

Equuleus Polo Team: Tom Coid, Inaki Laprida, Magoo Laprida, Joe DiMenna.

Defending champion is Grand Champions. The team of Jeff Desich, Rich Desich, Nacho Novillo Astrada and Nacho Figueras won the round robin with wins over Sebilion and two-time defending champion Equuleus. Rich Desich, a product of The Polo School at Grand Champions, was Most Valuable Player.

Figueras, competing for Black Watch in the inaugural World Polo League this season, is the sport’s international ambassador and one of the most well-recognized polo players in the world. Figueras said there are two reasons he keeps coming back for the event.

Crowd pleaser Nacho Figueras takes possession of the ball.

“First, the kids and the fact we can help these wonderful kids,” Figueras said. “And then Neil, who is the biggest supporter of this foundation and this Boys & Girls Club. Neil is a polo friend of mine and he has been a big supporter of mine for a long, long time so it is an honor being by his side.”

Grand Champions president Melissa Ganzi and her husband Marc are excited to host the event for the sixth year in a row. Each year the annual charity event has been embraced by the polo community.

“What Neil has done for the community of Wellington is just above and beyond,” Melissa Ganzi said. “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.

“Neil Hirsch has set a great example for our polo community by giving back to those who need us most here in Wellington and that’s our children,” Ganzi said. “The celebrity match is making an impact on the club members, their families and our community.”

Said Hirsch, “The kids keep me coming back. To see these kids every day. They come to the club after school. They are in a safe place, great environment and safe from the streets. That keeps me going.”

Proceeds from the fundraiser celebrity match and Great Futures Polo Day Brunch at International Polo Club Palm Beach at 12:30 p.m., featuring a live auction and game, benefit the boys and girls club. Individual tickets for the brunch and afternoon game are $1,000 per person.

Riley Ganzi, a freshman at Georgetown, will return to play in the charity event.

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 or 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.

The Great Futures event heads a full schedule of polo for March Madness at Grand Champions highlighted by the 26-goal World Polo League, $50,000 National 12-Goal, John T. Oxley Memorial, $100,000 World Cup (0-40) and Women’s Weekly League.

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