Back in the Saddle: Polo Under the Palms Returns to Sarasota March 24

MD Anderson Fundraiser Showcases World-class Polo and Free Cancer Education Seminar

MD Anderson News Release 03/01/12

Polo mallets and palm trees take center stage as Polo Under the Palms returns to Sarasota, Fla., March 24. Proceeds from the second annual competition benefit The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.  

The day kicks off at 9 a.m. with the Making Cancer History® Seminar at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. Featured speakers include the new president of MD Anderson, Ronald DePinho, M.D., and Laurence J. N. Cooper, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Service at MD Anderson. DePinho will share his vision for the future of the institution as a world leader in the fight against cancer. Cooper will speak on the promising clinical trials currently under way at MD Anderson focused on harnessing the human immune system to recognize and then destroy a patient's cancer. Both speakers will answer questions from the audience. The free educational seminar is open to the public and includes breakfast.

It's all polo after that starting at 4 p.m., when world-class players saddle up and take to the field at the Sarasota Polo Club at Lakewood Ranch. Following the championship match, guests can spend the evening dining on Old Florida cuisine, bidding on silent auction items and dancing to the premier sounds of the RW Band - all while making a generous contribution to the Uihlein Head and Neck Cancer Research Fund at MD Anderson.

Jamie Uihlein of Sarasota is co-chairing the fundraising effort again this year along with wife Mary Uihlein, son James Uihlein and daughter-in-law Christie Uihlein.

"Our first Polo Under the Palms was an outstanding success, and we're so proud to be a part of such an exciting and meaningful event," said Uihlein. "Thanks to the generosity of more than 300 attendees, we raised more than $150,000 last year to support MD Anderson and its message of hope for cancer patients and their families."

Diagnosed in 2004 with stage II tongue cancer, Uihlein sought a second opinion at the urging of several Floridian friends and, ultimately, treatment at MD Anderson. Today he is cancer-free and serves on MD Anderson's advisory board, the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors.

"The support MD Anderson receives from the Uihlein family and those attending Polo Under the Palms is critical to our mission of eradicating cancer," said DePinho. "It helps us provide the absolute best care possible for our patients in Florida and around the world. It offers hope for our patients and their families, and for that we are truly grateful."

MD Anderson Cancer Center-Orlando, established in 1991, was MD Anderson's first fully affiliated partner outside of Texas. MD Anderson and Orlando Regional Healthcare System together offer state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary cancer care. MD Anderson-Orlando physicians consult with Houston's MD Anderson physicians through televised sessions - enabling Florida patients to have more than one oncologist review their diagnoses and courses of treatment.

General admission tickets to the polo match are available at the gate for a $5 minimum donation per person. Children 12 and under are free. Tickets for the polo match and soiree, beginning at $175, are available at 866-262-9029 and at until March 16. Guests may not purchase soiree tickets at the event.

Event schedule:

  • 8:30 a.m. Doors open for Making Cancer History® Seminar at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota
  • 9 a.m. Making Cancer History® Seminar
  • 3 p.m. Gates open at Sarasota Polo Club at Lakewood Ranch
  • 4 p.m. Championship match
  • 6 p.m. Post-game soiree and silent auction begin
  • 7:30 p.m. Dinner and dancing