A Tradition of Good Times and Giving Back
By Laura Jacobi
Come out and experience the 21st Polo for Charity match Sunday, Oct. 12 at the historic Rose Hill Plantation in Bluffton. Gates open at noon and the match begins at 2 p.m.
The Lowcountry’s social calendar is full of fundraisers supporting many worthwhile causes. But Polo for Charity, presented by The Rotary Club of Okatie, is more than just another event in Bluffton. It’s a party: A polo match; fashion show; wine and cheese party and a beer and brats party all mixed into one delightful afternoon. And, it’s all for great causes, including the Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton, as well as other local charities supported by the Rotary Club of Okatie.
“Bluffton is well known for its many festivals and residents are always eager to find a reason to get together, enjoy the beautiful weather and exquisite Lowcountry scenery,” Barbara McFadden, Rotary Club of Okatie president and Polo chair, said.
Polo is known as the sport of kings. This fun, family-friendly event is reminiscent of a time when the polo match was THE social event of the season—the place to see and be seen. It’s an afternoon where men, women and children can happily co-exist enjoying the scenery, the sport and the socializing.
Guests can reserve patron slots to ensure they get an ideal location along the sidelines, perfect for setting up a tailgate tent. Or, general admission tickets are available. The tailgate location is on a first-come, first-served basis. No matter which side you sit on, come prepared to tailgate. This is a day where tents will line the field, each offering their own spread of treats and signature spirits. Families, with their colorful picnic blankets, lawn chairs and beach umbrellas, will dot the lawn with menus ranging from subs to shrimp and everything in between.
Barbara said she has seen it all when it comes to tailgate displays. That’s the fun of it, “the fact you see a little bit of everything.” Organizers encourage patrons to get creative with their display because there’s a contest for the “best picnic” on either side of the field.
The fashion etiquette for the polo match is as varied as the menus. Some spectators don their Sunday best, while others dress more casual. No matter what the look, be sure to top the outfit with a daring or dainty hat in order to take home the top prize in this year’s hat contest.
The only fashion tip Barbara has is “be mindful of the shoes you choose.” Keep in mind walking will be involved, the fields are grassy and patrons will have the opportunity to stomp the divots (mounds of dirt) on the field during halftime.
Meet the Artist: Kimberly Bisger This year’s poster and program cover features a striking, original painting by local artist and horse enthusiast Kimberly Bisger. The Spring Island resident received her first pony at age 6 and has had a love affair with horses ever since. Her current love on four legs is a rescue horse named Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue, as in the character from Forrest Gump.
Kimberly created three oil paintings for the event. “The Players,” Kimberly’s personal favorite, features two horses side by side and is the one featured on the event’s promotional material. “Match Day” (shown above) portrays a stately horse with the Rose Hill Mansion in the background. And “The Athlete” depicts a single horse with a polo mallet lying on the ground. All three pieces of art will be displayed at the event and available to purchase during the silent auction. Patrons can also watch the artist in action as she creates a painting to be given as a door prize during the day’s activities.