2014 Polo Gala

As the crowd gathered on the patio of the International Polo Club’s Mallet Grille last Friday night feeling the warm tropical breezes, admiring the crimson red sunset and marveling at the subsequent full moon glimmering overhead, everyone knew that they were in for a wonderful night!

Guests were welcomed to An Evening of Great Expectations by Bertram and Diana Firestone, Chairs during the evening’s opening cocktail hour. Amidst much laughter and conversation, there also was some fierce competition to win the numerous tempting items up for bid in the silent auction. After the auction, it was time for the guests to take their seats for dinner on the patio for dinner and the rest of the evening’s festivities.

Liz Quirantes, the evening news anchor for WPEC-TV CBS 12, was the emcee and hostess for the evening. Quirantes has always been a community partner for many non-profit organizations and in particular, she has been a strong advocate for the children of Palm Beach County. Grandma’s Place and St. David’s were very pleased that Quirantes could come out and support An Evening of Great Expectations.

Both organizations, Grandma’s Place and St. David’s, shared with the guests some details about their organizations’ programs that support the less fortunate and those in need in our local community. One highlight was when Bessie Gordon, the original Grandma from Grandma’s Place, who has recently retired, was introduced and thanked for her years of service to the children that have needed the support and services offered at Grandma’s Place.

Another highlight of the evening was the performance from an a cappella duo named Double Trouble. The duo is composed of fraternal twins named Rashad and Tashad Gardenhire from Delray Beach. Rashad and Tashad were abandoned by their drug-addicted mother at the age of 4, and they proceeded to bounce from foster home to foster home through the State’s foster-care system. But despite the turbulence of their youth, these two boys found an outlet through their love of music. By the age of 20, they had won a spot to audition on the X Factor. As Double Trouble preformed a couple of songs for the crowd at the evening’s event, it became apparent why these two young men had caught the attention of Simon Cowell, himself. It also pointed out the importance of exposing the kids in the foster-care system to all aspects of the arts, and Grandma’s Place is instituting a special arts program for their kids.

Dan Meister, the auctioneer for the evening, then took the stage to entice the guests with the “once in a lifetime” opportunities up for bid in the live auction. The items ranged from a tour of WPEC-TV CBS 12 with Liz Quirantes for the kids of Grandma’s Place and the winning bidder….to a two week stay at Kayay Kdlovu Manor House in South Africa…to polo and brunch for 6 at the International Polo Club…and even the chance to be a race car driver for a day! Many people bid long and high trying to win the auction item of their dreams, and a record amount of money was raised.

by Maureen Gross
Phelps Media Group


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