This weekend, four branches of the U.S. military go head-to-head for a good cause, as the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy compete in the Annual Inter-service Polo Tournament at Poway Polo Club in Poway, California. The U.S. Polo Association (USPA) sanctioned tournament will help raise money for America’s Fund, a program administered by the Semper Fi Fund supporting wounded and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Sponsors for the event include PVP Advanced EO Systems, Inc. and the Celebrity Ranch. The event has also received significant contributions from several individuals, including Lawrence and Sharyn Tondel.
Opening ceremonies will begin at 10:30 a.m. PDT on Saturday, October 6 and feature military tournament matches and civilian matches. The tournament will continue Sunday, October 7 with opening ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. followed by a consolation match at 11a.m. and the main event military tournament final at 1 p.m. in the afternoon.
Lieutenant Colonel James R. Fullwood, Jr., Commanding Officer of the Wounded Warrior Battalion-West, will be the Guest of Honor on Sunday. There will also be a Navy Chaplain present on both days to give an invocation. The event promises to showcase some intense polo action throughout the weekend and will feature a silent auction as well. Admission is free and open to the public, but event organizers will also becollecting donations for those attendees looking to give to the cause.
All contributions, sponsorships and auction sales from the tournament will go towards the America’s Fund to provide immediate financial support for service members during hospitalization and recovery, as well as assistance for those with perpetuating needs. America’s Fund is administered by the Semper Fi Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides support in a variety of ways including service member and family support, specialized and adaptive equipment, adaptive housing, adaptive transportation, education and career transition assistance, PTSD and TBI support and competitive athletics program Team Semper Fi.
“We received a great deal of support from the local community during last year’s event, so we’re really excited to ramp things up and get everyone together to show support for thebrave men and women of our military over an entertaining weekend of polo,” said Laura Castellvi, Community Outreach Manager for the America’s Fund.
Event organizers aim to raise at least $15,000 for the America’s Fund to match the amount generated by last year’s tournament. Those looking to get involved can donate at the event, or contribute online: http://americasfund.org/donate.php. Sponsorship opportunities are also available for organizations and businesses at various levels that range from $250 – $2,500. Interested participants can contact Dean Daggett at (949) 250-6040 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“Polo has a longstanding history with the military and we’re looking forward to showcasing this special relationship with a unique tournament, provide some great entertainment for the local community and most importantly help support the America’s Fund,” said Peter Rizzo, CEO of the U.S. Polo Association and former Air Force Sergeant, who will be participating in the tournament. “This is the type of fundraising event you look forward to all year, uniting military service members and veterans from all U.S. branches along with their families.”
Preserving the distinct connection between polo and the military, the USPA Military Polo Committee is dedicated to creating opportunities that support and perpetuate the tie between the armed forces and the polo community. The Committee continually works todevelop partnerships to increase military participation in polo in addition to promoting events that support the military community.