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Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Newport Polo is pleased to announce that its 16th annual International Polo Charity Ball raised over $20K to support newportFILM. Held at Rosecliff, one of Newport’s famed Bellevue Avenue mansions, Bal du Soleil received over 400 guests making a red carpet entrance in glamorous French Riviera-themed black tie & evening gowns for a night of exquisite gourmet French cuisine, dancing, and heart-warming philanthropy to welcome international guests of honor, the French Polo Team, and support the 2016 beneficiary, newportFilm.
The sold-out black tie affair began with a pre-gala 'Meet & Greet' sunset soiree with the French Team at Forty 1° North, where the team headquartered. The setting sun and glistening harbor provided a stunning backdrop from the resort hotel & marina's patio & outdoor lounge for the festive celebration.
Then on to Rosecliff for a reception on the terrace with Honorary Ambassador Andrea van Beuren, Founder and Artistic Director of newportFILM, and Polo Ambassadors Heather & Roger Souto, where an enchanting panorama of gardens and twilight ocean views drew guests out onto the lawn. Enticing hors d'oeuvres were passed including New England Lobster & Mango Salad, Wild Mushroom Bouchee with Truffle Aioli, Creamy Pear Chutney & Roquefort Cheese Purse, Foie Gras Mousse with Sweet Onion Jam, and New Zealand Lamb Chops with Rosemary Current. Kir Royale, Sidecar Lavende and Ti Punch specialty cocktails were an extra treat from the Cocktail Guru, to enhance the mood for a highly anticipated Silent Auction of unique and carefully-curated items and exclusive opportunities offered over the course of the evening.
As the colors of dusk faded, guests adjourned for a seated gourmet dinner in the gilded ballroom where tables draped in white brocade semi-sheer damask linen, accented by french cobalt blue napkins, blue hydrangeas, white orchids and reddest of red roses were pure confection. Live musical entertainment added to the magic, and a whirlwind Live Auction was wizarded by Sotheby's auctioneer, Hugh Hildesley, who offered up the night's crown jewels. Blackstone Catering's chef created the 3-course grande cuisine of candied walnut, mission fig, arugula & Belgian endive with Fourme d'ambert blue cheese salad, contrefilet de boeuf with black currant, cherries and port wine sauce, grilled halibut, haricot verts and pomme de terre entree, finishing with a classic pear tart with delice de bourgogne & cassis reduction dessert course.
Aprèsdinner guests heightened the competition in Silent Auction bidding, and enjoyed a dessert station, cocktails and dancing under the spell of the orchestra til the stroke of midnight. The odyssey's finale ascended to the Skybar, atop Clarke Cooke House for a last dance.
The 2016 beneficiary was the dynamic newportFILM, a year-round documentary film series that brings powerful messages and engaging experiences to the Newport community. Films screened at unique locations across Aquidneck Island are curated from festivals around the world and represent the work of established and emerging filmmakers. Harnessing the power of film to inspire, motivate, entertain and create change, newportFILM presents year–round programming and dialogue on the issues that matter. More about newportFilm.
"This worthy organization connects our community to the world around us and inspires us to rise above ourselves," announced the Gala Committee. "Enriching our quality of life through works of art from the silver screen has earned our support in our Silver Jubilee year."
Gala guests enjoyed lodging at our Official Gala Hotel, Forty 1° North, Newport's newest waterfront destination, state-of-the-art Hotel and Marina, for beautifully appointed lodgings, extraordinary service, exciting restaurants and chic lounges - everything you'd expect in a world class resort. Ranked #9 Best Hotels in the Northeast by Conde Nast Traveler Reader's Choice Awards. Located at 351 Thames Street, Newport, 401-846-8018.
16 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 day to challenge USA. Our annual New England Lobsterbake brought a brilliant conclusion to an extraordinary weekend. Visit the Schedule and Tickets page for all upcoming events.
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To view a gallery of photos from Bal du Soleil, visit our Facebook album or our website album of images. (You can also see last year's Ball Carnaval with the Brazilian Polo Team, check out the photo gallery, or the previous year's Safari Ball with the Kenyan Polo Team.)
Special Recognitions & Thanks:
Andrea van Beuren, Founder and Artistic Director of newportFILM
Heather & Roger Souto
French Polo Team:
Olivier Girard, Michel Granchi, Sofie Granchi, Capucine Granchi
Terri Connors, Executive Director & Gala Auction Chair
Sponsors: Forty 1° North ♦ The Cocktail Guru
Michelle Oeil Photography ♦ Quisan Taylor Lawhon ♦ Stefy Hilmer Photography
Patrons: Stacie Mills ♦ Heather & Roger Souto ♦ Alexander Forostenko
♦ Laurel Howe ♦ Peter Rains ♦ the Newport Experience ♦ Gauti Eggertsson
Auction Committee: Rebecca Bertrand ♦ Ann Clemens ♦ Terri Connors ♦
Meredith Ewenson ♦ Lynn Kaye ♦ Agnes Keating ♦ Kristin MacMannis ♦ Stacie Mills ♦ Meg O’Neil ♦ Kimberley Skeen ♦ Tom and Michelle Shevlin
C. Hugh Hildesley, Sotheby’s
We thank all the generous donors for fabulous auction exclusives: