Newport Polo is pleased to announce that its 22nd annual International Polo Charity Ball, held on Friday, August 4, danced to new heights. The stunning setting of Marble House and 70’s disco dress code of the ABBA ca DABRA Ball, presented by BD rendered an incredible experience, aspiring to the Gilded Age soirees of Newport’s legendary mansions along Bellevue Avenue.
Reaching for the stars on behalf of the Jeffrey Osborne Foundation as this year’s benificiary, the gala’s fundraising campaign exceeded the past record, and raised over $125,000 in total, the net proceeds of which will fund the Foundation’s mission to support initiatives and organizations in Rhode Island that keep music and the arts in our public school systems, sustain growth and enrichment programs and provide basic necessities of food, shelter, and a safe haven for families and children in need.
“I want to thank the attendees of the gala, who are a part of the Newport Polo family, for their amazing generosity. I am very proud of what we were able to achieve together,” stated Dan Keating, Newport Polo Founder & President, “and I’m also impressed with how many great dancers we have in our midst!”
Anticipation was at an all-time high for the sold-out affair to fete the Swedish Polo Team as this year’s guests of honor. Stardust befell the City by the Sea at cocktail hour, beginning with the evening’s first stop for a sunset view and reception on the Newport waterfront from the rooftop of Brenton Hotel, where Honorary Gala Ambassador, Jeffrey Osborne glad-handed the sparkling entourage, before a groovy shift to the main event at Marble House, the famed Bellevue Avenue mansion that once belonged to William Vanderbilt in the late 1800’s.
“In memory of my brother, Clay Osborne, one of the great jazz singers of RI, whose dream was to provide music scholarships for our youth to help fulfill their dreams, I have committed to continue the work he started, by establishing the Jeffrey Osborne Foundation, which has raised more than $1.5 million dollars since 2012, to fulfill those dreams and to provide basic needs for the youth here in my home state,” explained Osborne during introductions at the gala. “I’m pleased to include the Boys and Girls Club of Newport County among the beneficiaries of this unique and truly special formal event – which you rarely see any more – along with the Jeffrey Osborne Foundation’s community partners – the Boys and Girls Club of Providence, Amos House, St. Mary’s Home for Children, Button Hole, the RI Philharmonic School of Music and the Met School”, added Osborne, “and I can’t thank you enough for this opportunity to make a difference together, with your support.”
Crossing the red carpet at Marble House, guests enjoyed photo opportunities with Osborne on the grand staircase as they transitioned from the foyer to the ocean-view terrace and lawn for delightful signature cocktails created by renowned mixologist, The Cocktail Guru, and Swedish-inspired passed hors d’oeuvres like Traditional Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry, Beet Cured Gravlax on Brown Bread with Lemon Crème Fraiche and Caviar, Crispy Potato Pancakes with Cranberry Apple Chutney, Creme Fraiche and Dill, and Crispbread with Edam Cheese, Ham and Gherkin.
Eye candy included sparkly couture evening gowns in every style and silhouette, in lace, sequin, feathered, sheer or layered, ruffled, fitted or flowing, closely escorted by elegantly suited and jacketed gents and dandies in statement attire, promenading through the estate ready to catch some disco fever!
And it wasn’t just the storied Beaux Arts style mansion from marble that inspired wonder, there were glittering jewels on parade to stand out in the sea of sparkly outfits, including Sheri Osborne in white gold & diamond necklace and diamond hoop earrings and gala co-chair Agnes Keating in David Yurman gold and diamond starburst earrings and pendant from the Providence Diamond Collection.
A tantalizing collection of curated treasures were on display on the terrace, in contention from bidders in a Silent Auction during the night, which included remote bidders competing this year.
As twilight conceded to the evening’s brightest stars, the sounds of perennial favorite musical ensemble, Decades by DeZyne called the party to order in the grand ballroom to get to the heart of the evening, where New Zealand’s celestial wonders were on displaly, including the Southern Lights aurora illuminating the room’s relief mouldings, and starlights flickered on the ceiling. Newport International Polo Series Founder, Dan Keating, inaugurated the main event with his welcome remarks and introductions including:
- Swedish Polo Team: Samira Waernlund, Gustav Rausing, Jonathan Willen, and Nick Snow
- Jeffrey Osborne Foundation: Jeffrey Osborne and Foundation board members
- Gala Ambassadors: Meg and Jeremy Stowe
- Sponsors: BD, Brenton Hotel, Redfin Premier, Wells Fargo Private Bank, ABSOLUT and The Cocktail Guru
- Patrons: Jane & Don Bowers, Alessandra & Kurt Dolnier, Laurel & Rob Howe, J2 Construct, Jeffrey Osborne Foundation, Mary Marwick & Peter Jenkins, Helen Johnson, David Kilmetz, Lisa & Andrew Maillet, Gina & Douglas Manoni, Sue & Peter Metzger, Stacie Mills, Kim & David Resare, Thomas Roos, Sandra & James Shuster and Judy & Michael Wyzga.
- Auctioneer: NYC’s wizard of the East Coast, the energetic British charity auctioneer and MC, Harry Santa-Olalla
Santa-Olalla then introduced Honorary Ambassador and beneficiary founder, R & B Legend, Jeffrey Osborne before presiding over the whirl-wind Live Auction of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including 2 sensational Caribbean escapes, 4 Nights in Kilkea Castle, An Ariel Tour and Landing with the Swedish Polo Team, a Cabana Club Suite for 30 at Newport Polo and Dine Your Way Across Newport Package. The gourmet 3-course seated dinner by Blackstone Catering included an Asparagus Pana Cotta with Truffle Creme, Poached Faroe Island Salmon, and Jordgubbstarta – Swedish Strawberry and Cream Cake!
For a second consecutive year, Osborne who moved to L.A. as a teen when his musical talent was discovered, has scheduled his concert performances around returning to Newport to personally attend the weekend events, and rewarded this year’s generous attendees with a mini concert of 4 greatest hits in his legendary baritone voice, bringing the house to its feet with his hit singles On the Wings of Love and to the mic for You Should Be Mine, and surrounded him on the dancefloor for Back In Love Again and Stay With Me Tonight, spanning decades of his legendary R&B hits and gold & platinum records.
After-dinner guests arrived in time for a dessert bar, cocktails and a final chance at the silent auction bounty, in between gyrations to hits through the ages on the throbbing dance floor ’til the stroke of midnight, when shooting stars arched to the iconic Skybar, Clarke Cooke House’s VIP stratosphere, for the waterfront’s last dance of the fairytale night.
View the event Album.
NEWPORT POLO’S CHARITABLE INITIATIVES
The Newport International Polo Charity Ball found its start at the turn of the millennium to extend the goodwill of Newport Polo to provide lasting community benefit. One of the most anticipated events in the Newport season, the annual sell-out charity gala brings together the polo community for a lively celebration to support worthy charitable organizations. Festivities carry on throughout the weekend as Team USA faces the international team honored at the gala, concluding with the annual Lobsterbake. Annual beneficiaries continue to receive elevated awareness and support through additional fundraising opportunities that arise over the course of the year and beyond. Through its 31-year history, Newport Polo is proud to have helped raise over $1,700,000 for nonprofit organizations through its gala auction, its benefit matches, ad sales in its annual season program for the Rotary Scholarship Fund, and ticket donations for the Newport International Polo Series, among other fundraising efforts.
ABOUT NEWPORT POLO
Newport Polo is the home of America’s first polo club, offering exhibition polo and club member services and instruction for outdoor & arena polo. Est. in 1876; founding member of the United States Polo Association and host of the Newport International Polo Series. Now in its 31st season, acting as a global ambassador to the sport of polo, teams from 35 countries have taken to the field for the Newport International Polo Series, including challengers from England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, India, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Barbados, Canada, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Kenya, Brazil, China, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, Singapore, Monaco, Morocco, Peru, Poland and Switzerland, with Colombia to make its 2022 debut.
BD is one of the largest global medical technology companies, advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. BD’s Surgery Business Unit has headquarters and design center in Warwick, RI, employing nearly 300 associates, distributing $1 billion in medical devices globally. Our Rhode Island roots extend over 100 years from the Davol Rubber Company. We are changing the surgical world to improve the outcomes of each operation. To learn more, visit us at www.bd.com.
Commissioned by Nevada silver heiress Theresa Fair Oelrichs in 1899, Rosecliff, a gilded age mansion, stands out among the big houses of Bellevue. Architect Stanford White modeled Rosecliff on the garden retreat of French Kings at Versailles, the Grand Trianon. Upon completion in 1902, Rosecliff was the site of many fabulous entertainments. Gala attendees are entertained in the same room where Harry Houdini performed his renowned slights of hand at Mrs. Oelrichs fairy tale dinner party.
Auction Committee Acknowledgements: Joanna Baker de Neufville, Nancy Brickley, Delaney Daly, Agnes Keating, Pam Kelley, Elizabeth Leatherman, Stacie Mills, Elizabeth Pytka, Meg Stowe, Lisa Stuart, Meghan Tierney, and Elizabeth Sulock gratefully recognizes the generous donors, without whom, the evening could not have reached such success:
Audrain Automobile Museum
Boch Center Performing Arts
Bonnie Paige Design & Build
Gas Lamp Grille
Kurt Dolnier Fine Art
Lake of Isles Foxwoods
Mancini Beverage Company
Newport Festivals Foundation
Newport Restaurant Group
Peter de Savary
Providence Performing Arts Center
Sweet Berry Farm
The Chanler at Cliff Walk
The Platinum House
White Horse Tavern
William & Lynn St. George