Club partners with the America’s Fund to raise over $15,000 for wounded servicemen and women

It’s a friendly battle between U.S. military branches on October 6-7 as polo teams representing the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy compete in a tournament at Poway Polo Club in Poway, California. The U.S. Polo Association (USPA) sanctioned tournament will help raise money for the America’s Fund, a program administered by the Semper Fi Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit which supports wounded and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families while elevating awareness for military polo. Sponsors for the event include PVP Advanced EO Systems, Inc.  and the Celebrity Ranch, among others.  Individuals, such as Lawrence and Sharyn Tondel, also made significant contributions.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 10:30 a.m. PDT on Saturday morning and feature military tournament matches and civilian matches. The tournament will continue Sunday with opening ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. followed by a consolation match at 11 a.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 be collecting donations for those attendees looking to participate in the cause.

All contributions, sponsorships and auction sales from the tournament will go towards the America’s Fund, a non-profit program that provides immediate financial support for service members during hospitalization and recovery as well as assistance for those with perpetuating needs. The program is administered by the Semper Fi Fund and 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 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 the brave 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.  In addition to making a donation at the event, those looking to get involved can do so by contributing online at 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 dedaggett@dedaggettlaw.com 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 which support and perpetuate the tie between the armed forces and the polo community. The Committee continually works to develop partnerships to increase military participation in polo in addition to promoting events that support the military community.

For more information on polo in the U.S., or to get in on the action and schedule a lesson, visitwww.uspolo.org.

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