Polo Players Plan Annual Philanthropic Pilgrimage to Prairie
M. D. Anderson's Polo on the Prairie Slated for May 2
M. D. Anderson News Release 04/01/09
Polo players from across the nation will come together on the Texas prairie May 2 for the fundraising championship polo match Polo on the Prairie. More than 1,000 guests are expected to make the trek to the Musselman Brothers' Lazy 3 Ranch in Albany, Texas, for the annual event that has raised more than $3 million for research and patient care programs at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Melinda and Henry Musselman, along with Melinda's mother, Mary Anne McCloud, have organized the polo competition for 23 years. Henry Musselman and McCloud serve on M. D. Anderson's volunteer advisory board, and Musselman and son Luke play polo at the event each year. They note the fact that the daylong event is more than just a fundraiser - it has become a family reunion of sorts for many.
"Polo on the Prairie has become a tradition, not only for my family, but for amateur and world-ranked professional players who come here each year," says Melinda Musselman. "It's not easy to travel across the country with horses and trailers. The dedication these players exhibit is tremendous, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their commitment to this event and to the cancer patients for whom they compete."
The event is much more than just a polo match. After the mid-afternoon championship game, guests enjoy a barbecue feast that has been slowly cooking all day. Joe Allen's Pit Bar-B-Que of Abilene brings more than 3,000 pounds of brisket, 400 sausage links and 150 pounds of beans, as well as potatoes and corn for the feast. Homemade peach cobbler and cold iced tea complete the meal.
This year Texas-born Jack Ingram will provide the evening's entertainment under the football field-sized tent. Ingram's newest record, "This is It," earned him a Top 5 Album for sales. He received a fan-voted CMT Award, beating such nominees as Sheryl Crow, Jimmy Buffet and Johnny Cash, and has toured nationally with Brad Paisley, Crow, Dierks Bentley, Martina McBride, Brooks & Dunn and Toby Keith.
A professional fireworks show will light the West Texas sky to conclude the day's festivities.
"Polo on the Prairie is one of the many wonderful things about West Texas, and M. D. Anderson is very grateful to be a part of such a special tradition," says M. D. Anderson President John Mendelsohn, M.D. "We sincerely thank everyone who supports this event for the compassion shown toward the thousands of cancer patients who have been helped by Polo on the Prairie's generosity. You truly are making a difference in the lives of those affected by this disease."
Tickets to the M. D. Anderson fundraiser are available at 1-866-262-9029 or 713-563-4071. They will not be available for purchase at the event. 04/01/09