RANCHO SANTA FE — More than 100 people were on hand at The San Diego Polo Club to enjoy the “sport of kings” while helping to support local charities during The Country Friends inaugural Hats and Flats fundraiser Aug. 23.
The daylong event featured two polo matches, heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts, traditional divot stomps and an array of fancy fedoras. Co-chairwoman Melanie Cruz Walsh said her philanthropic group was pleased with the turnout and hopes to make it an annual event.
It was a first-time experience for many attendees, such as John and Marci Cavanaugh and Aubrey and Judy Burer. “I love it,” Marci Cavanaugh of Del Mar said. “It’s very fun. I’m working on figuring (the rules) out.”
“It’s pretty interesting,” Judy Burer said.
Carlsbad resident Brittany Matthews and Bettina Hahn Osborne of Coronado were attending their first local polo match. “This is so fun,” Hahn Osborne said as she stomped a divot. “I’ve been to matches back East, but this is new for me here.”
The Country Friends, which currently has more than 1,200 members, has donated more than $16 million since 1954 to San Diego human-care agencies such as the Community Resource Center, Elizabeth Hospice, the Escondido Community Child Development Center, Angels Foster Family Network, the Burn Institute, ElderHelp of San Diego, the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation and Helen Woodward Animal Center.