Pony Up: Polo Under the Palms Debuts March 12 in Sarasota

MD Anderson Fundraiser to Include Educational Symposium

MD Anderson News Release 01/26/11

What do polo players and palm trees have in common? In Sarasota, Fla., the answer is Polo Under the Palms, a competition benefiting The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.  

The inaugural event offers guests the unique opportunity to enjoy the 4 p.m. March 12 match at the Sarasota Polo Club at Lakewood Ranch while supporting MD Anderson's world-class cancer research and patient care programs. Afterward, guests will enjoy dinner of Old Florida cuisine and dancing to the acclaimed Robert Williamson Band.

In conjunction with the polo match, MD Anderson plans a Making Cancer History® Symposium, 9 a.m. March 12, at Fête Catering and Ballroom at Polo Grill and Bar. Randal Weber, M.D., chair of MD Anderson's Department of Head and Neck Surgery, and John Mendelsohn, M.D., president of MD Anderson, are among those slated to speak and answer questions from the audience. The educational symposium is free and open to the public.

"Polo Under the Palms will bring together friends and families for a very important cause," said Mendelsohn. "It supports revolutionary cancer research and helps us offer our patients and their families hope for a life free of cancer. We truly appreciate everyone who supports this outstanding event."

Cancer survivor Jamie Uihlein of Sarasota is spearheading the fundraising effort along with co-chairs, wife Mary Uihlein and son and daughter-in-law James and Christie Uihlein. 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. Six years later he is cancer-free and serves on MD Anderson's advisory board, The University Cancer Foundation Board of Visitors.

"The outstanding level of care I received, along with the knowledge that MD Anderson is making new discoveries every day through cutting-edge research, has made me a lifetime supporter," said Uihlein. "Knowing that Floridians and patients nationwide have access to the institution's expertise in the newest treatments and procedures is not only comforting, but also, in my opinion, a gift."

Celebrating nearly seven decades of Making Cancer History®, MD Anderson is one of the world's most-respected centers devoted exclusively to cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. Since opening day in March 1944, nearly 800,000 people have registered at MD Anderson. During Fiscal Year 2010, the institution provided cancer care for more than 105,000 patients. About one-third of patients come to MD Anderson from outside Texas, including more than 1,160 new patients from Florida who sought diagnostic, treatment or prevention services in FY2010.

Nearly 10,000 patients participated in clinical trials at MD Anderson exploring novel therapies and diagnostic tests in FY2010, making it the largest such program in the nation. The institution receives more peer-reviewed National Cancer Institute research grants than any other academic institution in the United States.

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.

Tickets to the polo match, $20, are available at 866-262-9029, at events@mdanderson.org or at the event. Tickets to the polo match and dinner, $175, are available at 866-262-9029 and at events@mdanderson.org until Feb. 25. Guests may not purchase dinner tickets at the event. 01/26/11