2011 Challenge of the Americas Raises $275,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Mason Phelps, Mary Ross and Brian O'Connor at the 2011 Challenge of the Americas Photo Credit: Susan J. Stickle Photography

Wellington, FL – March 22, 2011 – The tenth annual Challenge of the Americas competition and Gala were held Saturday evening, March12, at the beautiful International Polo Club Palm Beach. Held as a benefit for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Play for P.I.N.K., the event raised approximately $275,000 in support of research to help find a cure for this disease that has affected so many lives.

The Challenge Gala got underway following an exciting evening of equestrian competition that included the first ever four-on-four polo match, where Team Vanderbilt-Ingram proved victorious.  Following polo the musical quadrille team challenge commenced with Team Purina USA earning the winning score in this fantabulous event.  This year’s gala, a sold-out affair with almost 600 in attendance, featured an evening of dinner and dancing and was held in the New Nespresso Lodge just off Piaget Field at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.  The sit-down dinner, silent auction and dancing was enjoyed by top riders, trainers and judges from the equestrian world of dressage and polo, along with generous sponsors and supporters.

Held as a benefit for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation over the last ten years, the Challenge of the Americas has raised over 1.5 million since its inception in 2002. This year they will once again add a generous donation to that total. President of Play for P.I.N.K., spoke at the Gala and acknowledged all that Challenge of the Americas has done for breast cancer research. Play for P.I.N.K. (Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New technology, Knowledge) is a grassroots organization dedicated to raising funds to fight breast cancer, by creating and promoting awareness of breast cancer through sporting and lifestyle events. They contribute 100% of all funds raised to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Play for P.I.N.K. President Laura Lassman stated, “Thank you so much to all of you  for your generous support, which goes to fund an army of the most incredible researchers in the world.  We support 172 researchers in 12 countries and have worked to make great strides to fight this disease.  Sixteen years ago we were working to see if we could cure cancer, now we are working to figure out when!  I hope that one day soon we will have this fabulous event to celebrate the breakthrough that we have beaten this disease!”

Mary Ross, who lost her mother to breast cancer, and created the event in memory of her mother ten years ago, created the Challenge of the Americas.  She, along with a talented committee put together this fabulous event.  New to this year’s event, was a four-on-four polo match which was organized by Georgette Escobar.  Escobar, wife of 7-goal polo player Luis Escobar, is a breast cancer survivor and spoke during the event about her battle with the disease.

Escobar stood in front of the evening’s crowd with seven of her closest friends to speak about her fight.  “I stand here in front of you with seven of my closest friends to show you that one in eight woman is diagnosed with breast cancer.  I was the one of eight, and with the help of research, my cancer was detected early.  Because of such advances in technology and research, I was able to fight the disease.”  Escobar’s 91-year-old grandmother, also a breast cancer survivor, was in attendance to show her support for the cause and Escobar’s recovery.

“I also would like to thank Mary Ross for all she’s done for the fight against Breast Cancer.  She is an incredible woman and has done so much for this disease!”

Many companies and organizations came together to help support the Challenge of the Americas through their sponsorship. Generous sponsors included: The International Polo Club Palm Beach; SSG Gloves – Team Can/America; Purina Mills – Team USA; The Seley Parker Group of Merrill Lynch – Team International; Polo Sponsor: Arenus; Event Sponsors: USDF; Cunningham & Cunningham Livestock Insurance; , MatchnRide.com, Back on Track, Wellington Classic Dressage, Palm Beach Equine Clinic, Red Barn Feed & Supply, The Tackeria, Ecogold, Bethesda Women’s Health Center, Dover Saddlery, King Ferry Winery, Jamaica Tent, Boca West Country Club, EQLS and Sunbelt Rentals.

For more information, please visit www.challengeoftheamericas.com.

Media Contact: Mason Phelps
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389  fax 561.753.3386
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com

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