Record Year for Brooke USA’s Sunset Polo™ & White Party

Brooke USA's Sunset Polo™ & White Party raised over $350,000 for working equines and the people who depend on them in the world’s poorest communities. More than 1,000 people joined together for the signature event and exceeded funds raised from all previous years. The event recorded a landmark year, with nearly $70,000 raised of the total project goal of $150,000 to construct equine veterinary clinics in Ethiopia, home to the third largest population of equines in the world. The elegant and well-attended fundraiser was held at the Wanderers Club on Friday, March 22.

The honorary committee, chaired by Katherine Kaneb Bellissimo, and the host committee, led by Paige Bellissimo, were the driving force behind the success of the event.

“This is the fourth year of this event, and it has had incredible growth and participation from equestrians of all disciplines and from the community. Our enhanced committee has helped with this event and allowed us to re-envision ways to do it,” said Kaneb Bellissimo.

A highlight of the evening took place on the veranda when Dolores Sukhdeo, the President and CEO of South Florida PBS (WPBT2 and WXEL), presented the inaugural Crystal Awards to Claudine and Fritz Kundrun, Margaret Hamilton Duprey and Kaneb Bellissimo. The honorees are outstanding champions of the organization who have gone above and beyond in support of its mission. The efforts of these remarkable people help make a difference alleviating the suffering of some of the 100 million equines working in the developing world to support the livelihoods of 600 million people.

Having spent time living in Pakistan, Fritz Kundrun has seen the plight of working equines firsthand. He and his wife, Claudine, have been supporters of the organization since its founding. Duprey is Brooke USA's Founding Ambassador and helped Brooke USA complete the Women 4 Donkeys campaign that targeted improving the lives of donkeys and the livelihood of their women owners in Kenya. Kaneb Bellissimo is a member of Brooke USA’s board of directors and the founder of Brooke USA’s Sunset Polo™ & White Party.

The evening festivities began with a round-robin polo match featuring talented and up-and-coming future polo stars, including Brooke USA ambassadors Hope Arellano, Wes Finlayson and Ben Avendaño. GJ Racing, Provident Jewelry and Invicta Farm sponsored the teams. The GJ Racing team won the 8-goal exhibition match.

Brooke USA Ambassadors Duprey, Kasey Perry-Glass, J.J. Tate, Katie Jackson, Allison Brock and Eugenia Karolyi were on hand to represent the organization.

After the game, singer Shelley Keelor entertained guests as they enjoyed a Latin-inspired Touch of Orange Dinner, featuring a gourmet menu designed by celebrity chef Ingrid Hoffmann. Luxury silent and live auctions raised funds for Brooke USA. Aerial acrobats, from Florida Aerial Dance and Circus Arts, performed during the evening-long White Party and throngs of people danced to music provided by DJ Adam Lipson. International artist Josée Nadeau painted live as miniature horses Star and Huck wove among the guests as equine ambassadors.

Brooke USA’s Executive Director Emily Dulin said, “Brooke USA is thrilled with the support received from the equestrian community in Wellington and our supporters who traveled from afar. We are very grateful for the enthusiasm of all those present, and we are looking forward to producing an even greater event in 2020.”

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The organization's signature event, Brooke USA's Sunset Polo™ & White Party, was held Friday, March 22, at the Wanderers Club in Wellington, Florida. The event set an idyllic scene with white cabanas overlooking the tournament-sized polo field and festive lit pool. As the sun set, the exhibition polo match began followed by a gourmet meal and celebrity entertainment.

With over 1,000 people in attendance each year, Brooke USA’s Sunset Polo™ & White Party events have raised $1.5 million to benefit Brooke USA, directly improving the welfare of working horses, donkeys and mules and the people they serve.

Brooke USA’s mission is to significantly improve the welfare of horses, donkeys and mules and the people they serve throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America by raising funds and responsibly directing them to the areas of greatest need. Through the programs funded, Brooke USA helps equine owners, service providers and governments in the developing world to implement scientifically proven, practical, sustainable and culturally relevant solutions to enormous animal welfare challenges.

Most of the programs funded by Brooke USA are directed by Brooke, the world’s largest international equine charity and the leading experts on working equines around the globe.

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Media Contact:
Carrie Wirth
EQ Media
(612) 209-0310




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