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Safari Ball Success

Date:    Friday, August 8, 2014

 

Generous and fun-loving attendees turned out in Safari Black Tie for a night of exquisite food, dancing to a band worthy of ovations, and heart-warming philanthropy, to welcome guests of honor, the Kenyan polo team and gala beneficiary Roger Williams Park Zoo to the 14th annual International Polo Charity Ball. In an unparalleled success, the action brought in nearly $30,000 to support the zoo's mission of conservation and education.

Wild prints, safari props and exotic fashion ruled the night as guests flocked to historic Rosecliff mansion on Friday, August 2. The Cocktail Guru and Hendrick's Gin kicked off the night with cool cocktails from an ice bar on the lawn, accompanied by passed hors d'oeuvres & exclusive Silent Auction opportunities displayed on the terrace. Attendees got a surprise greeting from exotic residents of Roger William's Park Zoo, roaming throughout the lawn with their handlers.

Long time patrons were seen ushering their guests in for the night's festivities. Stacie Mills hosted a posh posse from Newport, while J. Chris Williams led his royal delegation from New Hampshire. Peter Rains made a splash with an entourage traveling from Palm Beach while Alexander Forostenko ushered in his East Bay friends of polo. Jenny Elkus, Laurel Howe and Chip Stiegler traded their polo mounts for a table on the dance floor with friends hailing from all over the east coast. Linda Baker generously hosted RWP Zoo board members.

As the sun went down, the bidding heated up in the silent auction, featuring original works of art, exciting adventures, designer apparel, gifts and jewelry, owners box pro sports event tickets and other highly sought-after packages from generous donors. In the dining room, Newport Polo Club president Dan Keating welcomed honored guests including Governor Lincoln Chafee along with First Lady Stephanie Chafee, the Kenyan Polo Team, and Dr. Jeremy Goodman and Brooke Fairman of the Roger Williams Park Zoo. Keating also gave acknowledgements to all those who made the event possible including honorary ambassadors, First Lady Stephanie Chafee and her mother Sophie F. Danforth, polo ambassadors Jim and Julie DeAngelis, generous sponsors, and the auction committee that worked to make the night so successful.

Entertainment Specialists transformed the gilded ballroom with lighting cast as a sunset on the Serengeti. Transported to Kenya with zebra print linens, Blackstone Catering created a sumptuous game dinner. Guests were treated to rare delights including wild boar, antelope, exotic fruits and other specialties, followed by pheasant with shrimp and scallops, and dessert duet.

The auctioneer, on loan from Christie's, opened the bidding on once-in-a-lifetime adventures, tantalizing get-aways, and unique opportunities, donated by Pedego Electric Bikes, Peter DeSavary, GoWild Africa Safaris, and the Rhode Island Zoological Society. Fierce bidding over naming rights to a baby wallaby rounded out the auction, making it an unparalleled success. 

Decades by DeZyne kept the party rocking through the night, with a repertoire spanning 60 years, from Motown to the most recent chart toppers. The band took center stage and the dance floor was instantly filled. Guests packed the dance floor through the last song at midnight. The merriment continued as the party moved to the Sky Bar atop Clark Cooke House, to end a perfect evening.

Conservation and environmental stewardship are at the core of the Roger Williams Park Zoo mission. Our regional Zoo, operated by the Rhode Island Zoological Society and owned by the city of Providence, works in partnership with 200 other zoos to preserve the planet's animals. Roger Williams Park Zoo challenges not only itself, but also its visitors to act as responsible environmental stewards. To learn more visit rwpzoo.org, or plan your next visit to see first hand what the zoo is up to. 

Commissioned by Nevada silver heiress,  Theresa Fiar Oelrichs in 1899, Rosecliff, a gilded age mansion, stands out among the big houses of Bellevue. Architect Stanford White modeled Rosecliff on the garden retreat of French Kings at Versailles, the Grand Trianon. Upon completion in 1902, Rosecliff was the sight of many fabulous entertainments. Ball goers stood in the same room where Harry Houdini performed his renowned slights of hand at Mrs. Olerichs fairy tale dinner party.The Newport Polo Club is looking ahead to the next International Polo Ball on Friday, August 7. Nominations are open for a nonprofit civic or charitable beneficiary. For more information about the 2015 gala, contact Newport Polo via email, addressed to agnes@nptpolo.com

14 years and counting, the International Polo Charity Ball is the social highlight of the season when polo players, enthusiasts and friends come together to celebrate while supporting various charitable organizations. Festivities carried on through the weekend as Kenya took to the field to challenge team USA. The annual New England Lobsterbake & firework display brought a wonderful conclusion to an extraordinary weekend. Visit the Schedule and Tickets page for all upcoming events.

For even more on the Safari Ball, check out the photo gallery, and look back on last year's Bacchanale with the Italian team.