Academy Award-Winning Actor Tommy Lee Jones and Decorated Polo Player Dawn Jones Served as Honorary Chairs of the Event at the National Polo Center; Renowned Polo Player Nacho Figueras and Equestrian Delfina Blaquier Received The Buoniconti Fund Award
(January 30, 2024 – Wellington, FL): Academy Award Winning Actor Tommy Lee Jones and decorated polo player Dawn Jones, were joined by polo legend Nacho Figueras and Argentine businesswoman and equestrian Delfina Blaquier for The 2nd Annual Equestrian Legends Celebrity Polo Match & Gala, benefitting The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis at the National Polo Center. The event featured a cocktail reception, a silent and live auction, the presentation of The Buoniconti Fund Award to Nacho Figueras and Delfinas Blaquier, and an equestrian demonstration from Olympic and World Champions in the disciplines of Show Jumping, Dressage and Polo.
It is said that horses are the greatest athletes on four legs. And the truth to that was clearly evident this past Saturday at the National Polo Center in Wellington, where dozens of horses, with their accomplished riders, performed in a spectacular equestrian demonstration. The equestrian show was announced by Tony Coppola, president of the US Polo Association, and featured Dana Barnes, principal of Concord Equity Group and Polo Team Sponsor for the evening; father-and-son polo legends Luis and Lucas Escobar; decorated polo player and Game MVP Dawn Jones, who with her husband, Academy Award-Winning actor Tommy Lee Jones, served as the event’s honorary chairs; Kris Kampsen, three-time US Open Arena Champion; polo icon Stephen Orthwein; Dr. Scott Swerdlin, president of the Palm Beach Equine Clinic, who served as Polo Team Sponsor with his wife Amy Swerdlin; Grand Prix jumper Riley Delbecq; multi-award winning jumper Todd Minikus; and Olympian and champion dressage trainer Jan Ebeling.
The equestrian demonstration was followed by an exquisite sit-down dinner with wine and champagne pairings from Penfolds, as well as the presentation of The Buoniconti Fund Award to Mr. Figueras and Ms. Blaquier for their continued devotion to The Buoniconti Fund for their decades long outreach and fundraising efforts.
Marc Buoniconti, President, The Buoniconti Fund and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, inspired the audience with his story of determination and perseverance, and implored all to join him in his efforts to support The Miami Project’s research efforts. Dr. Barth Green, Co-Founder, The Miami Project and Mark Dalton, longtime Buoniconti Fund Board member and Great Sports Legends Dinner Chairman, were thanked for all they do to support advances being made to help those living with paralysis and other neurological injuries, diseases, and disorders. Stephanie Sayfie Aagaard, Executive Director of The Miami Project emceed the evening and helped auction off some one-of-a-kind items in support of the cause.
The unique and impressive list of items included an item that drew the most excitement and activity, a priceless Taylor Swift, The Eras Tour VIP Concert experience for two that included tickets for one of her May, 2024 concerts in Paris, France and VIP access and treatment. The bidding was so robust that in the end three sets of this experience were sold in support of research at The Miami Project. The other items were a 14 KT white gold diamond Tennis Bracelet donated by Hana Stern Diamonds & Jewelry valued at $19,500, and an original acrylic painting by Artist Kyle Lucks created onsite during the polo match valued at $15,000.
The evening’s Platinum Sponsors were Mark Dalton, Co-Chairman of Tudor Investment Corporation; Tim Gannon, co-founder of Outback Steakhouse; Diana Morrison and Itchko Ezratti; management consultants Victoria Ranger Nunez and Mike Nunez; Mack V/Lynn and Reed Mack; Concord Equity Group / Dana Barnes, Jeffrey and Melinda Hildebrand; and Penfolds. Gold Sponsors were Bainbridge/Richard Schechter, and Arlene F. Page & J. David Page Charitable Foundation/David and Tuny Page. Co-chairs were Stephanie Sayfie Aagaard; Louise and Red Armour; Marc Buoniconti; Teresa Buoniconti; Mark Dalton; Shannon Falcone; Tim Gannon; Richard Gray; Barth A. Green, M.D.; Dawn and Tommy Lee Jones; Reed Mack; Diana Morrison; Victoria Ranger Nunez, and Suzie Sayfie.