|Under blessedly sunny skies (with just a few passing storm clouds) the 12th Annual International Polo Challenge was held on Sunday in Pine Plains, New York. Four teams competed: Berluti (France), The Carlyle (United States), Castello di Vicarello (Italy) and Estancia Villa Maria (Argentina).
The event, a benefit for the American Organ Donors Association, was chaired by Bruce Colley, Karen Klopp and Parker Thorne who gathered 500 patrons under a big white tent for a champagne fueled lunch. Across the field, about 200 creative types staged tailgate picnics. At the end of the day, the Argentinean team, consisting of Bryan Colley, Alex and Donatien Langlois and Gaston Listoli, took home the trophy.
|Over 400 enthusiastic supporters attended the “I Have a Dream” Foundation’s Spring Gala at 583 Park Avenue in New York City. Among the evening’s guests were keynote speaker United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan; Rosie O’Donnell, who was honored with the Visionary Award; Dany Garcia, recipient of the Eugene M. Lang Achievement Award, presented by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson; country music star Lee Ann Womack, who performed her hit song, “I Hope You Dance;” Carlos Watson, MSNBC Anchor and the evening’s emcee; Eugene M. Lang, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the “I Have A Dream” Foundation; Patricia Velasquez; Chancellor of New York City Schools, Joel Klein; Sharon Bush; Warren Eisenberg; Mary Ann and Arthur Siskind; Chancellor Matthew Goldstein (CUNY); Jeffrey R. Gural; Nathan Gantcher; J. Ronald Terwilliger; current and former students in the program (“Dreamers”); members of O’Donnell’s Broadway Kids who performed; and many others.|
|In the United States today, less than 15% of children in low-income communities will obtain bachelor’s degrees, compared with 26% nationwide, and more than 50% in high-income communities. Since 1986, the “I Have a Dream” Foundation has been working to ensure that all children have the opportunity to pursue higher education.
This organization is unique in that it works with entire groups of students from elementary school through high school, and upon graduation from high school, each “Dreamer” receives guaranteed tuition assistance for higher education. Since blossoming from a dream to reality, the “I Have A Dream” Foundation has supported over 15,000 students nationwide and is currently working with over 4,000 “Dreamers” in 17 states, Washington, D.C., and New Zealand.
|Rosie O’Donnell has taken her popularity and put it to good use. As a tireless crusader for children, she established “Rosie’s For All Kids Foundation,” which since its inception in 1997 has raised over $60 million and awarded more than $27 million in grants to over 1,400 child-related nonprofit organizations to benefit low-income families across the country.
Dany Garcia is a dedicated philanthropist, business woman, entertainment industry mogul and mother. She is the founder and president of an “I Have a Dream” program in Miami called The Beacon Experience, A Foundation for Success. In addition, Garcia is co-founder and vice president of The Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation, which works with children worldwide to promote health education and physical fitness.
|Despite extreme adversity, Kendra Walker realized college was within reach when she was introduced to the “I Have A Dream” Foundation in 1995. Kendra’s mother died when she was only two years old. Shortly after moving in with her aunt, her aunt also passed away, and Kendra was forced into Florida’s foster care system. Despite these hardships, Kendra concentrated on excelling at school. Currently a senior at Florida A&M University, Kendra will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in accounting this winter and plans to enter graduate school to earn her CPA. Kendra is also a motivational speaker to children in Miami’s foster care system and hopes that one day she will be able to help the “I Have A Dream” Foundation in their efforts to invest in scholarship funds for inner-city youth.
Launched in 1981 by entrepreneur Eugene M. Lang, the “I Have A Dream” Foundation began with the mission to send all 61 students of the sixth grade class of P.S. 121 in East Harlem to college. Now in 2009, they are making a commitment to expand their support to even more children across the country. The need and opportunity for impact have never been greater, and they are ready to lead the charge towards a better education system and high standards of excellence for all.
|The Pediatric Support Committee had a shopping event at Lilly Pulitzer on June 9, which represented a small kick-off party for Light Up A Life 2009.
The Pediatric Support Committee of the Phyllis and David Komansky Center for Children's Health at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, including Anne Ford, Erin Gaudreau, Kim Heyman, Kathleen Kocatas, Tiffany Moller, Candice Postel, Heather Sargent and Catherine Shepard, hosted a shopping event at Lilly Pulitzer on June 9 to help kick-off the hospital's annual signature pediatric fundraiser, Light Up A Life.
|Over 100 guests mingled and delighted on cocktails as they shopped to support programs to benefit pediatric patients at the Komansky Center. Light Up A Life will take place on Saturday, October 17 at Toys 'R' Us Times Square.|
|The first match of the season at Greenwich Polo Club was played the last Sunday in May under azure skies. Top Argentinian and American players competed for top honors, holding hundreds of spectators in thrall.
Team Airstream, comprising Messrs. Orthwein, Aguero, Dorignac and Rice defeated Team Heathcote, comprising Messrs. Lefkowitz, Manifold, Taverna and Biddle 12-10, in a rousing come-from-behind victory.
Prizes from Tiffany & Co. and CREED fragrances were awarded. Sponsors of the event included Vue Water and David Lerner Associates.
|Photographs by Mary Hilliard (Mashomack); Mia McDonald (I Have A Dream); Heidi Good (NYP/Weill Cornell).|