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Polo on the Prairie Thrills Crowd, Raises Funds for M. D. Anderson

Polo on the Prairie Thrills Crowd, Raises Funds for M. D. Anderson
M. D. Anderson News Release 05/02/02

Jimi Hendrix, Bonanza and $100 worth of ice cream with all the fixin's brought a twist to the 16th annual Polo on the Prairie, which benefited The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, April 20 at the Musselman Brothers Lazy 3 Ranch in Albany, Texas.

The guit-steel guitar slidings of Junior Brown brought the most limber souls in the 1,500-person crowd to their feet after polo play and dinner with a catchy compilation of old western theme songs from the Ponderosa and The Magnificent Seven and a finale of a freestyle, slightly countrified version of Hendrix's Purple Haze. 

The youngest Polo on the Prairie donors were spurred on earlier in the week as the sixth grade teaching team at Eastland Middle School challenged their students - boys against the girls - that whoever raised the most money for research and patient programs at M. D. Anderson would be treated to all the ice cream and accoutrements $100 could buy. Amazingly, it was a tie as the group collected $1,310, including what was gleaned from urgent late afternoon phone calls home from the band hall.

Since 1987, Polo on the Prairie has raised more than $2.1 million to fund targeted research initiatives for more than 40 cancer research projects and quality-of-life and patient care programs. Although Mary Anne McCloud and Henry and Melinda Musselman co-chair the monumental affair each year, they credit the time and talent of the polo players who journey in from around Texas and beyond to wow the crowd as well as the generous people who donate funds to the event year after year.

"We all do this for the love of M. D. Anderson and the life-saving therapies it brings to people," McCloud confirms. "It is important for all of us."

This year's winning polo team, No Trees - whose name is always a crowd pleasing favorite - was made up of Midland, Texas' Craig Duke, Gene Evans and Kelly Beal, as well as superstar nine-goal player Hector Galindo from West Palm Beach, Florida.

Contributions from this year's event will help fund five vital initiatives:

  • Physician-Scientist Program, which provides resources for nurturing the institution's brightest young faculty members into tomorrow's oncology leaders.
  • Research into pancreatic cancer, which is historically under funded and one of the most devastating of all cancers because, by the time symptoms are detected, pancreatic cancer usually has progressed to advanced stages.
  • Proton Therapy Research Fund, which will examine innovations in using a high-energy proton beam to target tumor sites and provide greater control and precision than other forms of radiation.
  • Research into uveal melanoma, which will study the efficacy of a vaccine in stopping the spread of eye melanoma through the blood after it is detected and treated in the eye.
  • The Anderson Network Hospitality Room, a special oasis at M. D. Anderson where patients and family members stop in for refreshment, comfort and support from volunteers who have had similar cancer experiences. 
  • Science Park Research Division Library, which links researchers at the Smithville, Texas, campus to specific information in appropriate scientific literature and journals.
    To receive information on Polo on the Prairie, call (800) 525-5841 or (713) 792-3450.


© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center