Every once in a while, you meet someone that changes your life forever. For me, this person was Tina Fowler, founder and executive director of Polo in the Pines.
Eight years ago I received a phone call from Tina after she saw an ad for an equestrian-themed event I was running. She had an unbridled excitement about an event that she wanted to create to honor her mother, Sharon McCullum Knight, raising critical funds for cancer research. Her dream was to create a signature fundraising event in Atlanta that promoted her favorite equestrian sport of polo. Being a horseman, I was excited about the possibility and I arranged to meet her. What would follow would not only be a life-changing opportunity for me personally, it would change my career path forever. Polo in the Pines would truly make me a "planner with a purpose.”
My new life in Atlanta was already dedicated to working with non-profit organizations but Polo in the Pines would be a new adventure for me and one that would unexpectedly fine-tune my efforts.
Tina and I met that fateful day on a park bench in North Fulton County near the polo fields in Cumming. Her energy was intoxicating and I found myself swept up in her vision of a “Pretty Woman” inspired polo fundraiser that would leverage emerging brands, restaurants, wines, and spirits all for a greater good. And as we all know, when we gather to support those in need, the giving is indeed great. Our inspiring friendship and Polo in the Pines were born.
There have been so many personal friends in Atlanta who have supported my efforts over the years and incredible partnerships have fueled my work with Polo in the Pines. This year, Tina and I are hoping our efforts and the efforts of our friends and guests will help us to reach our goal of more than $1 million raised in the last three years for pediatric brain cancer research being done right here in Georgia at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta!
My life and work has certainly changed for the better over the years when I moved to Atlanta from Beverly Hills where I was a personal chef. Polo in the Pines allowed me to adopt my new gratitude attitude and the work has made me a better man in every way. My work was seeding my joy and the more that I could accomplish for Polo in the Pines and Tina the more joyful I became. It is this pleasure that guides me in my decision-making process, giving me the strength to continue my work and unleash new ideas and opportunities for Polo in the Pines.
The event has grown over the years. This now two-day event is comprised of The Legacy Luncheon on Saturday and the Atlanta Polo Brunch Festival on Sunday. They are two of my favorite events on the Atlanta social calendar. We have harnessed so much goodwill and put it under one giant tent. You can feel the love and the intention as our friends and guests gather. Our friends and our guests have an amazing time and there is something to be said about "stomping the divots" with a glass of bubbles in early October in Atlanta.
Won't you join Tina Fowler and me on October 5 and 6? I can promise you that we will have a wonderful time, I am planning on it!
Sean O'Keefe Events