Quadrille teams perform musical freestyles and compete for the top prize at the Challenge of the Americas. Photos by Meg McGuire.
Wellington, FL – March 2, 2015 – The Challenge of the Americas (COTA) relies on the backing of its dedicated sponsors who join in the fight against breast cancer. This year, COTA has had an incredible response to Partners for Pink (PFP), a special sponsorship opportunity being offered for the first time.
PFP is a new, up-and-coming society of individuals and business owners who have come together in the fight against this terrible disease. COTA assists The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) through their partner Play for P.I.N.K (Prevention, Immediate Diagnosis, New Technology, Knowledge). Joining PFP is a great way to get involved with COTA at an accessible level while receiving numerous sponsorship benefits.
The society offers local, regional and national coverage in print media, various spots for on-site recognition, VIP seating at the event that includes several hospitality and entertainment benefits, and six general admission tickets. Membership for this group is set at $1,500, and spaces are quickly filling as the March 20 event, held at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, approaches. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Mary Ross at (561) 251-7945.
Among the inaugural Partners for Pink sponsors is Marc Ulanowski of Engel & Völkers Wellington and Palm Beach. Ulanowski has been involved with COTA in one way or another for many years, and the cause is a special one to him.
“A dear friend’s husband passed away from breast cancer, which was a shocker to most people because they don’t really understand that men get breast cancer too,” Ulanowski said. “So as a male, it was very important to me to be a supporter. I thought that getting more men involved might bring attention to the fact that men do get breast cancer as well.”
Ulanowski thinks that the event is a chance for dressage people to let loose and have some fun for a good cause. He is particularly impressed by the hard work of the riders on the musical quadrille teams.
“The dedication of the riders is just amazing,” he said. “They practice and practice and practice. The amount of time and energy people put into this makes the event so special.”
Also joining Partners for Pink this year is Marysue Jacobs of Destiny International Properties. She appreciates the opportunity to support such an important cause and thinks the event is a fun way to illustrate what the sport of dressage is all about.
“I have many friends who have been affected by cancer, and I think the Challenge is a super way to bring tremendous public attention to it,” Jacobs said. “I can take friends who are not horse people to the Challenge. It’s an event that is entertaining and helps them understand just how amazing that relationship between a human and a horse can be with lots of training and work.”
Terri Kane of Diamante Farms, another first time sponsor, feels that COTA stands out on the busy Wellington social calendar because of the personal experience that so many people have had with breast cancer.
She regularly attends COTA, and her daughter, Grand Prix competitor Devon Kane, has ridden several times at COTA as a quadrille team member. When the opportunity to sponsor the event through PFP came along, she was happy to lend her support.
“I think it’s a great idea and such a worthy cause,” Kane said. “This is something I totally believe in. I value being involved with the search for the cure.”
Another company that has joined the family of sponsors this year through a PFP sponsorship is Health Systems Management Network (HSMN). Through her role as President and CEO of HSMN, Cathy Tarantini has seen firsthand the effects of breast cancer.
“HSMN is proud to be a sponsor of the Challenge of the Americas and our friend Mary Ross,” Tarantini said. “HSMN stands with Mary because as a company we have helped hospitals, physicians and their patients through the difficult time by finding the resources to do their job.”
Like many of the PFP members, Cece Stewart, owner of Oak Meadows Farm, has been attending the event for years but decided this year that she wanted to do more.
“I have a sister who is a breast cancer survivor, so it has a lot of personal meaning for me as well,” Stewart said. “I’m excited to be part of it. When I got the information about Partners for Pink, I had just gotten off the phone with my sister. I sat back and thought, ‘You know, I need to be more active in this beyond attending.'”
Stewart has been attending COTA since the early years of the event and even has a son who flies down every year from Chicago for the event.
“I’m very excited to support the Challenge of the Americas,” Stewart said. “It is a fun evening, and it is great for the equestrian community to come together for this very important charity.”
Challenge of the Americas Fast Facts
The 2015 Challenge of the Americas, presented by Deloitte, is a spectacular event in which teams of high-performance dressage riders compete in intricate quadrilles set to world-class music and choreography. For the 2015 edition, teams will also include elite show jumpers competing to rack up more points for their teams.
This annual fundraiser is a one-of-a-kind affair. Competing riders include the “Who’s Who” of top equestrian competitors in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe. The 2015 Challenge of the Americas will once again raise money to help find a cure for breast cancer by benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation through their partner Play for P.I.N.K.
Fri., March 20, 2015
5:30 p.m. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres
6:00 p.m. Opening ceremonies
6:10 p.m. Challenge of the Americas Competition
7:30 p.m. Award Presentation
7:45 p.m. The Challenge Gala: Dinner and Dancing
International Polo Club Palm Beach
3667 120th Avenue South
Wellington, FL 33414
8067 Montserrat Place
Wellington, FL 33414
VIP Tables of 10: price includes competition and gala dinner and dancing
Gold Patron $6,500 per table
Silver Patron $4,500 per table
Bronze Patron $2,500 per table
Individual Seating: $250 per person
Partners for Pink: $1,500 special sponsorship package that includes two VIP tickets along with advertising and media promotion
General Admission seating $20 per person at the gate
Children 12 and under admitted free (General Admission)
The Challenge of The Americas Beneficiary: The Breast Cancer Research Foundation through their partner Play for P.I.N.K
Play for P.I.N.K.
Play for P.I.N.K.® (Prevention, Immediate Diagnosis, New Technology, Knowledge) is a 501(c)(3) grassroots organization dedicated to raising funds to fight breast cancer through lifestyle and sporting events. Our commitment is to contribute 100% of all proceeds to our sole beneficiary, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation in order to fund the world’s top researchers. In 2014, PFP donated $4.5 million to BCRF for a cumulative total of $38.5 million.
Mary Adelaide Brakenridge for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International