October 2017

Tailgating for a Cause: 24th Annual Polo for Charity Event

Author: Emily Campbell

Imagine a cool, autumn breeze with the Lowcountry sun shining down on your oversized hat; surrounded by neighbors and friends, you are munching on a variety of tailgate food and sipping your favorite drink, while observing the “Sport of Kings.” Sounds like a pretty perfect afternoon. What could make it even better? It’s all done to raise money for great local causes. The twenty-fourth annual Polo for Charity event is all that and so much more.

Bring the whole family for an afternoon of polo, tailgating, divot stomping and plenty of fun on Sunday, October 22 at the Rose Hill Equestrian Center, Bluffton. The gates open at noon and the match starts at 2 p.m. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Okatie, it has been referred to as “Bluffton’s Largest Picnic.”

Attendees are encouraged to get creative with their tailgate fare and their attire. Everyone is encouraged to let their personalities shine! Tents range from basic hotdogs, hamburgers and beer to shrimp scampi and champagne. An award is given for the best tailgate, so gather your friends and start planning your menu now.

While polo is often thought of as a “fancy” sport, this event adds some Lowcountry flair. You can come in your flip flops and shorts or your favorite sundress and seer sucker. But don’t forget your signature “polo” hat, because an award is given for the best one!

The money raised at this year’s polo event will benefit the Foundation for Educational Excellence as well as other Rotary charities. The Foundation for Educational Excellence is organized to seek and sustain county-wide charitable and educational resources that support the mission and goals of the public schools of Beaufort County.

The Foundation supports student instructional activities and projects through Innovative Teacher Grants, Innovative School Resource Grants, Student Enrichment Grants and Project STAR. Grants are as diverse as purchasing supplies to build a robot or establishing an eco-habitat for native species. What all grants have in common is that they spark inquisitive minds. Twice a year, applications are submitted to the Foundation. Projects are chosen on their merit by a committee of the Foundation. Since 2009, the Foundation has awarded over $90,000 in grants to the teachers and students in the public school system.

“Polo for Charity is always a highlight of the year for both the Rotary Club members and the community members involved in such an amazing event,” said Rotary Club of Okatie president, Tony Leister. “It’s our pleasure to host this fun afternoon with family and friends, in a beautiful, Lowcountry setting, raising money for charities in our area.”

The event also features a silent auction with many highly sought-after “packages” that include entertainment, vacations and dining. This year, the proceeds from the silent auction will benefit two local charities: Moss Creek Marines and the Daufuskie Marsh Tacky Society.

Moss Creek Marines (MCM) is a non-profit group of former Marines who now reside in Moss Creek Plantation and who help raise funds to aid and honor the service of Marines who have been deployed in combat and have paid a devastating price for our freedom. The Daufuskie Marsh Tacky Society’s mission is to promote and protect the endangered Marsh Tacky horses, in the context of their historical roots on Daufuskie Island, through breeding, training and sales plus educational and special events programming.

Tickets are $20 at the gate on the day of the match or $15 per person in advance. Children under 12 are admitted free. Advance tickets are available at the Rose Hill POA office, BB&T branches on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton, Bluffton Pharmacy, Markel’s and the Engel & Vӧlkers offices on Hilton Head Island, and in Bluffton and Savannah. You don’t want to miss this Lowcountry event of the season!

For more information, contact Barbara McFadden at (843) 298-3055, e-mail rotarypolo@hotmail.com or visit The Okatie Rotary Polo for Charity page on Facebook.

Polo for Charity Event Sponsors
Event organizers announced their current sponsor commitments with projections of more to come. They include Platinum Sponsors: Engel & Vӧlkers, and Lang Capital—Retirement, Investment, Tax Specialists; Diamond Sponsors: C. Parker Cook, Jr., Daufuskie Marsh Tacky Society, John Mosca, CPA, Palmetto Electric, Palmetto State Bank; Gold Sponsors: Hilton Head Landscapes and the Law Office of Barbara B. McFadden LLC; and Media Sponsors (to date): Accurate Lithograph, Alpha Media, Bluffton.com, Bluffton Sun/Hilton Head Sun, Bluffton Today, Bob 106.9 FM, Easy FM, The Hall, The Lake, Premier Lowcountry Magazine, Bluffton Breeze magazine, The Island Packet, Rewind 107.9, The Scout Guide, 104.9 The Surf, SC 103 FM, Tails of the Lowcountry, and WHHI TV.

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