Museum of Polo & Hall Of Fame Honors Inductees, Celebrates 25th Anniversary
On an historic evening, the polo community came together to honor outstanding individuals and horses at the Museum of Polo & Hall of Fame.
A crowd of 350 welcomed six new inductees while celebrating the 25th anniversary of the induction ceremony and dinner.
Those inducted were Adam Snow, former 10-goaler, two-time Player of the Year and U.S. Open winner; Peter Perkins and William S. Tevis, who were honored posthumously; Iglehart Award winner Paul T. von Gontard; Mike Azzaro’s horse Beetlejuice and C.V. Whitney’s horse Fuss Budget
The gala attracted polo enthusiasts and star-studded lineup from all over the world to honor the sport’s greats and add another page to polo history.
The first inductee honored was Fuss Budget, owned by the late C.V. Whitney. Marylou Whitney, the grand dame of polo, accepted the award. Whitney was accompanied by her nephew, Leverett S. Miller. After her acceptance speech, she announced that she was making a $100,000 donation to the museum.
Teenager and polo player Allie Azzaro, daughter of Mike and Amy Azzaro, accepted the award for her father’s mare, Beetlejuice, who is now retired and with her foal Baby Beetle.
Richard Mansfield accepted the posthumous Iglehart Award for his grandfather, William S. “Willie” Tevis.
Paul T. von Gontard accepted his Iglehart Award for outstanding lifetime contributions to polo.
Diane Perkins accepted Peter Perkins’ posthumous award.
Snow was the final inductee honored with the Living Hall of Fame award. Snow brought a mallet with him to the podium explaining it helped him win the 2006 U.S. Open.
Committee chairman Horace Laffaye, renowned polo historian and author, said “This group of outstanding individuals represent the finest of American polo. The committee selected two players with outstanding records, a pair of supporters of the game who made lasting contributions to polo in this country and two polo ponies which were at the top of their respective generations.”
The dinner, induction ceremony and silent auction are the most important fundraising eventsLive for the museum each year.
What’s considered polo’s “Academy Awards Night” opened with a champagne greeting at a grand reception and silent auction which raised $6,470 for the museum.
Sponsors of the reception tables were Marc and Melissa Ganzi, owners of Grand Champions Polo Club, Barbara Uskup, Coach House, Jordan’s Steak Bistro and PDQ.
Wine and spirits were provided by Margaret Lipman Orthwein, Lipman Brothers, Brown-Forman, Bacardi USA, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Fetzer and Jekel Vineyards and Korbel.
The evening’s entertainment was the band Las Olas sponsored by Wayne and Pamela Garrison.
The sit-down dinner was provided by John Wash and International Polo Club Palm Beach and its IPC catering service. The tables were decorated with glistening historic polo trophies surrounded by white flowers.
Museum chairman Marty Cregg served as master of ceremonies, filling in for John Walsh, who was ill and unable to attend the gala.
The museum building, opened in 1997 in Lake Worth, houses polo records and memorabilia honoring those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to polo. The museum is a not-for-profit educational organization.
“The polo community is very supportive of the museum,” said George DuPont, executive director of the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame. “They are very much aware it is here. When they need something historical, they know this is the place to come.”
Melissa Ganzi, Flight Options team captain, is president and fundraiser of the museum’s Board of Directors. She also was the awards presenter for the induction ceremonies. Ganzi was the event chairman and Olexa Mandelbaum was the chairperson of the silent auction committee.
Fast Facts About Museum of Polo & Hall of Fame
Where: Museum of Polo & Hall of Fame, 9011 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth.
About the museum: The museum is a source of growing pride in the community as a place for research and study about a sport that has defined a special segment of the sport’s heritage as well as the community’s.
Museum hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and on Saturdays during the winter season, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. For more information call 561-969-3210.