Smithsonian Young Benefactors Polo Cup Returns to the National Mall

Featuring Celebrity Host John Walsh and Professional Argentinean Polo Player Nacho Figueras
June 26, 2008
News Release

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The Smithsonian Young Benefactors, Washington’s premier museum-based young professional’s organization, will host the 2nd Annual Smithsonian Young Benefactors Cup, Saturday, Sept. 6, from noon to 6 p.m. The event will take place on the West Potomac Park Polo Field on the National Mall, at 23rd Street and Independence Avenue. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the educational programming of The Smithsonian Associates and the Young Benefactors Culture 4Kids Fund.

The Smithsonian Young Benefactors Cup will feature exhibition and competitive polo matches between a mix of professional and amateur players, including members of the Young Benefactors. Notable players include celebrity host John Walsh, professional Argentinean polo player and Ralph Lauren model Nacho Figueras, local professional polo player Charlie Muldoon and Chris Del Gatto, CEO of CIRCA.

Proceeds raised from the Cup will benefit The Smithsonian Associates and the Culture4Kids Fund, which provides support for Washington, D.C., schoolchildren to attend the Smithsonian Summer Camp and Discovery Theater performances.

“I’m honored to once again be playing polo on the National Mall for such a great cause,” said John Walsh. “My wife Revé and I are so proud to be part of the Smithsonian Young Benefactors’ efforts to support children in need. Children are our country’s most valuable resource. Knowing that proceeds from this event will help children have a brighter future, is something that everyone should be proud of.”

“This annual event was held last year for the first time with great success in raising awareness for the Young Benefactors,” said Barbara Tuceling, director of The Smithsonian Associates. “We hope this year’s Cup will continue to establish greater ties with the younger community and engage them with the aims of the Institution.”

In addition to the polo matches, spectators will enjoy a catered buffet lunch served under open tents. Catering is provided by Ridgewells; and the VIP lounge is provided by Legacy Concierge. Beverages are provided by FIJI Water and Heineken USA. A VIP after-party at the Mandarin Oriental hotel is set to follow the event.

The Cup is organized by The Smithsonian Associates, the cultural and continuing education arm of the Smithsonian Institution, and the Young Benefactors polo host committee, which is co-chaired by Joanna Block, Carolina Furukrona and players’ chair Charlie Muldoon. Sponsored teams competing this year include Capitol File magazine, CIRCA, Harper’s Bazaar, Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C., Moët Hennessey USA and Ralph Lauren. The Embassy of Argentina is Honorary Patron of the event.

Ticket prices to attend the Cup range from $125 to $375. The General Admission ticket ($125, Young Benefactors members; $150, nonmembers) includes exhibition and competitive matches and the catered buffet lunch, which includes champagne, wine and beer. The Early Bird ticket—a General Admission tickets purchased before July 1—($125 Young Benefactors members; $150, nonmembers) will include the after-party at the Mandarin Oriental. A limited number of VIP tickets are available ($325, Young Benefactors members; $375, nonmembers) and include exhibition and competitive matches, the catered buffet lunch, admission to the VIP tent and the VIP after-party at the Mandarin Oriental.

Tickets will not be sold at the Polo Cup. Participants must be 21 or older to drink; photo identification will be checked at the gate. For tickets and information, contact The Smithsonian Associates at (202) 633-3030 or visit

In celebration of the Cup, the players and the Young Benefactors polo host committee will hold a private reception at the Ralph Lauren Chevy Chase store on the evening of Sept. 5.

The Smithsonian Young Benefactors is a charitable, educational and cultural organization whose mission is to assist The Smithsonian Associates in its fundraising goals and increase public interest in the Smithsonian Institution. On average, the organization hosts 60 social activities for its members, including five major events.

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