Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 19, 2017 – The International Polo Club Palm Beach will welcome the first charity event of the year Monday, January 16, hosting Polo for a Purpose, benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society®, while showcasing a high goal polo game in conjunction with a Gipsy Sound Revolution concert following the match. The event will begin at 2 p.m. with a 24-goal polo match and continue throughout the afternoon with entertainment and family fun.
PJ Rizvi and Brandon Phillips, co-organizers of the event, alongside Visse Wedell and Penny Bradley, spend their year preparing and planning for the event, which aims to raise funds and awareness for those diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma, all different forms of blood cancers.
“We started preparing for this event just a month after last year’s event, so it is something that we work on throughout the year,” said Phillips, a survivor of non-Hodgkins lymphoma and a renowned polo player. “I’m expecting this year, by far, to be our biggest year yet.”
“The money we raise from this event benefits the local community and patients fighting these diseases. This is why Brandon and I do this event together and have become such good friends,” explained Rizvi. “My sister, Penny, passed away from leukemia and Brandon is a survivor. We hold this event very close to our hearts.”
Through the fundraising efforts of the Polo for a Purpose committee, more than $600,000 has been donated to the mission of finding a cure and supporting emerging treatments. This year, both Rizvi and Phillips are anticipating that number will greatly increase with the tremendous growth of the event.
“We want to create awareness and include everyone. This event is for the community,” continued Rizvi. “I always say that the motto for this event is that we’re chipping away at blood cancer one penny at a time.”
The event, which is not only open to the equestrian community, but also to the residents of Wellington, will feature an elite polo match ahead of an exciting concert, all hosted on the polo grounds. Rizvi elaborated, “By supporting this event, you’re saving lives. People sometimes underestimate how important this research is. The money we raise goes to covering co-pays, transportation, second opinions, new research and so much more.”
As the event date approaches, event organizers are expecting a large turnout of supporters, spectators, and survivors on Monday, as it is a day of rest for the equestrian community and part of the holiday weekend. This is the first year that a concert has been incorporated into the event timeline and both Rizvi and Phillips believe that it will help to grow the event and add an extra element of fun to an already meaningful day.
“What we’ve been able to do in the last four years has just been incredible. I wish we could have started this fourteen years ago. You know that you want to give back and this event provides an outlet to do that,” added Phillips. “This year is going to be special. The proceeds will 100% go back to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society®. It’s going to be a great game and it’s my goal to make these events fun. We want people to enjoy their time while supporting the cause.”
“When someone you love is diagnosed with blood cancer, your entire family is diagnosed,” concluded Rizvi. “We want to help the families in this community and support opportunities for research and treatment that will one day cure this disease.”
About Gipsy Sound Revolution
The Gipsy Sound Revolution is a collaboration of performers of the original award winning and beloved group The Gipsy Kings. Former Gipsy Kings drummer Cedric Leonardi and fellow Gipsy Kings family members Mario and George Reyes take to the stage to perform some of the greatest hits including, “Bamboleo” and “Djobi Djoba”. New music created for their group, Gipsy Sound Revolution, features the original gypsy tribe of Rajasthan. Taking the raw nomadic rhythms that trace gypsy culture back to India, Gipsy Kings rumba meets Rajasthan raga in an ecstatic music event. Bring your dancing shoes!