Polo For Heart Celebrates Three and a Half Decades of a Unique Equestrian Charity Fund Raising Event

TORONTO, May 21, 2014 /CNW/ - Polo For Heart, one of Canada's most spectacular equestrian charity events, offers the perfect venue from which to view thoroughbred polo ponies and players from Argentina, United States and Canada as they compete for victory. Celebrating its 35th anniversary, Polo For Heart 2014 will be contributing the proceeds of this year's event to the Heart & Stroke Foundation's Centre for Stroke Recovery at Sunnybrook Health and Sciences Centre, and to the Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation for the purchase of a new MRI machine. Since Polo For Heart's inception, more than $5 million has been raised for heart and stroke related charities.

This year Polo for Heart is delighted to welcome back its title sponsor, the Bank of Montreal. Five-star luxury hotel Ritz Carlton is again hosting the Polo For Heart corporate pavilion, where guests will be treated to gourmet food and wine, a fashion show sponsored by the Upper Canada Mall and entertained by jazz musician George St. Kitts and his band. Other sponsors, whose contributions are greatly appreciated, include Cadillac Fairview, Graywood Developments, Mercedes-Benz Downtown, VRG Capital, PACE Credit Union, Mayfair Clubs, Alterna Savings, The Teddington/The Millwood, York Regional Media Group, Cameron's Brewing, TAG Vodka and the Grange of Prince Edward Wines. For a third year, Lloyd Robertson has been named as Honorary Chair of the Polo For Heart Executive Committee.

Polo For Heart will be held at the Toronto Polo Club in Richmond Hill at 13401 Leslie Street on June 20, 21 and 22.  Each day of the three-day event from 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM, guests will be treated to two international polo matches, a silent auction, charming boutiques and daily half time entertainment. Guests can also visit The BMO Kids Zone and the Mallet Lounge and can participate in the traditional champagne divot stomp and polo picnic and the best hat contests.

"The Toronto Polo Club is delighted to host Polo For Heart for its 35th consecutive year. Since 1979, Polo For Heart has offered a glamourous and exciting event that has thrilled its audience. We are extremely pleased to contribute to the on-going success of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation and help them attain their goals," said Derek Watchorn, Polo For Heart Event Chair.

"There are 315,000 Canadians today living with the after-effects of stroke, and this number is expected to increase in the next 10 to 20 years," said Tom McAllister CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Ontario. "This means there is a great need to focus attention on stroke recovery and we're grateful that Polo For Heart has dedicated funds to the Heart and Stroke Foundation Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery, [formerly the Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery.] Together, we are helping to create survivors."

"We are so grateful to receive the incredible, continued support of Polo For Heart, supporting the needs of our patients. The Images for Life campaign is playing a critical role in shaping the future of cardiac care at Southlake", says Neila Poscente, President and CEO, Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation. "On behalf of our community, I thank Polo for their leadership and commitment to the best in healthcare for our families, friends and neighbours. Polo's 2014 gift will help save lives". Support from the Polo for Heart event and contributions from the community over the last three years will help the Southlake Regional Health centre achieve its goal of purchasing a state-of-the-art second MRI machine. 

General admission to Polo For Heart is $15; children under 12 are free. Anyone interested in taking part can visit www.poloforheart.org for more information. Participants can buy their tickets on line. 

SOURCE: Polo for Heart

For further information: For more information on the Heart and Stroke Foundation: Alexandra Maheux, Associate Manager, Public Relations, Heart and Stroke Foundation, amaheux@hst.on.ca, 416 489 7111 ext 3178; For information on the Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation: Dionne Malcolm, Manager, Marketing and Communications, Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation, DMalcolm@southlakeregional.org, 905-836-7333 Ext 5114; For information on Polo for Heart and the Toronto Polo Club: Beverly Brooks, Media Relations, Polo for Heart, Brooks.communications@rogers.com, 416 482 8889

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