Date: Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Ushering in a glittering crowd of debonaire gents and glamorous women from the Newport Polo Club will be Laurel and Rob Howe, 2019 Polo Ambassadors to Diamonds Are Forever, the 19th annual International Polo Charity Ball.
Laurel Howe is an avid sportswoman and polo player who first tried her hand at the sport in Newport Polo's training program. She was hooked and has joined the ranks of Newport Polo's playing members, making several appearances on the Saturday field. When not on the field, Laurel can often be seen around Newport running various road races by day and entertaining the visiting teams by night. Laurel will be joined by her husband, Rob, to support the evening of heartwarming philanthropy to benefit The Newport Music Festival.
"We are impassioned to support institutions like the Newport Music Festival that bring vibrancy and world-class experiences to Newport for residents and visitors alike," comments Laurel Howe. "The shared goal of bringing international culture to our community makes Newport Polo and the Newport Music Festival a natural fit and we hope that you will join us in support of its mission."
The annual black-tie gala is the social highlight of Newport's polo season and is sold out. Merriment begins at The Chanler at Cliff Walk for a cocktail meet and greet with guests of honor, the South African Polo Team, before moving to Marble House for the main event. Over 400 attendees will turn out to make a red carpet entrance with James Bond style in black tie glam, frosted in diamonds, in vogue, retro or African influenced formalwear for a night inspired by South African culture, from fashion & accessories, to lively rhythms, exquisite gourmet cuisine paired with renown South African wines & exotic spirit mixology. An enchanting panorama of gardens and twilight ocean views will be matched by enticing hors d'oeuvres, specialty themed cocktails, and highly anticipated Silent Auction showcase in which a carefully curated collection of unique items and exclusive opportunities will be offered for the highest bidder. Guests will adjourn for a seated gourmet dinner where live musical entertainment will set the tone, and a whirlwind Live Auction will offer up the night's crown jewels. Under the spell of the orchestra, desserts and dancing will ensue til the stroke of midnight. The Skybar dance floor, atop Newport's iconic Clarke Cooke House, will receive gala goers for a final hour of revelry.
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19 years and counting, the International Polo Charity Ball is the social highlight of the summer, when polo players, enthusiasts, and supporters come together for a lively celebration while supporting various charitable organizations. Festivities carry on through the weekend as the international guests of honor take to the polo field on the following afternoon to challenge USA. Our annual New England Lobsterbake, expertly prepared by the master bakesmen of McGrath Clambakes, brings a brilliant conclusion to an extraordinary weekend. Visit the Schedule/Tickets page for all upcoming events.
To view a gallery of photos from the previous charity balls, including last year's Midnight in Marrakesh with the Morrocan polo team, check out the photo gallery.
The gala will take place at Marble House, one of Newport’s foremost Gilded Age mansions on Bellevue Avenue, completed in 1892 for Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt, grandson of railroad baron Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. William's wife, Alva Vanderbilt was a leading hostess in Newport society and envisioned Marble House as her "temple to the arts" in America. It was designed by the architect Richard Morris Hunt, inspired by the Petit Trianon at Versailles, and features 500,000 cubic feet of marble, lavishly gilded interiors and sweeping panoramic ocean views.
2019 Charitable Initiatives
Newport Polo’s gala has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to support various worthy nonprofit organizations. For Gala Sponsorship opportunities or Auction donations for the 2019 gala and auction, please direct inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newport Polo will host additional charitable initiatives in 2019, including the annual Benefit Polo Matches on May 25th and July 14th, offering fundraising opportunities to participating 501-c-3 organizations. For more information, please email email@example.com.
In its past 27 years, Newport Polo is proud to have helped raise over $1,400,000 for nonprofit organizations through its gala auction, benefit matches, and ticket donations for the Newport International Polo Series, among other fundraising efforts.