Tag Archives: Featued

Grant Ganzi Of Wellington Named Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Chapter’s Man Of The Year

Grant Ganzi Of Wellington Named Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Chapter’s Man Of The Year
Every nine minutes, somebody in the U.S. dies of a blood cancer. In today’s uncertain times, cancer patients need support now, more than ever. On Friday, June 26, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Palm Beach-Treasure Coast chapter held its Man & Woman of the Year Grand Finale. The program raised more than $670,848.

The two winners were Grant Ganzi of Wellington and Teri Klotz of Lake Worth. Ganzi raised $149,063, while Klotz raised $78,367. The money will support LLS’s goal to find cures for blood cancers and ensure that patients have access to lifesaving treatments.

During a spirited 16-week fundraising campaign, candidates compete in honor of local Boy of the Year Aiden and Girl of the Year Lily, both blood cancer survivors, to raise the most funds to ensure a world without blood cancers.

Ganzi’s campaign was focused around Aiden and Lily, making sure that other children and their families don’t have to face what they went through. In addition, Ganzi has had other close friends who battled leukemia and wanted to help make a difference.

“I wanted to raise money for this amazing cause and organization because of my friend Brandon Phillips. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 14 and was only given six months to live. He beat the odds and has been in remission for more than 25 years. His story has inspired me to help others,” Ganzi said.

As a Lynn University senior, third-generation polo player and the Polo School’s USPA delegate, Ganzi engaged his polo community, family and friends for support, as well as holding two virtual trivia nights via ChukkerTV to raise money for his campaign.

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Man & Woman of the Year Grand Finale was held via Zoom. Ganzi was awarded the title with 16 other candidates and more than 100 guests in virtual attendance.

“We could not be prouder of these 17 individuals, who used every creative resource they had to raise dollars for our mission during a pandemic. Many would have given up, but these candidates were all in to help us in our mission to find cures for cancer,” said Pamela Payne, executive director of LLS’s Palm Beach-Treasure Coast chapter.

Candidates and their campaign teams were judged solely on virtual fundraising success this campaign season, each dollar counting as one vote. Their totals will then be considered for the national title. Candidates in each LLS chapter across the country vie for the local title, and the highest fundraisers earn the national title.

Ganzi’s initial goal was to raise $75,000. “I surpassed my goal, and I’m surprised I was able to. There were moments in my campaign where I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to reach my goal,” he said. “Thank you to my family, friends, team members, fellow candidates, Aiden, Lily and everyone at LLS. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Through programs like this, LLS has invested nearly $1.3 billion in research to advance breakthrough therapies. The funds raised through the Man & Woman of the Year campaign are used for research to advance targeted therapies and immunotherapies that are saving thousands of lives; blood cancer information, education and support for patients; and policies that ensure patients have access to blood cancer treatments.

This year, the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast chapter had 16 candidates, one all-star and more than 200 team members competing for the title. The campaign ran from March 5 through June 26.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a global leader in the fight against cancer. Its mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care. Founded in 1949, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada.

To learn more about LLS, visit www.lls.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572. Learn more about the Man & Woman of the Year program at www.mwoy.org.


Busy Season Planned At Grand Champions Polo Club In Wellington

Busy Season Planned At Grand Champions Polo Club In Wellington

By Sharon Robb

The Grand Champions Polo Club is the only polo club offering medium and high-goal polo tournaments during the fall in Wellington, much to the delight of polo fans.

With five well-manicured fields and a turnkey facility, Grand Champions is one of the busiest and most innovative, cutting-edge clubs in North America, offering polo eight months a year. There is open access for kids, beginners, medium and high-goal players to enjoy polo in a relaxed and friendly environment.

The club, celebrating its ninth fall season since its 2008 opening, caters to men, women and youth polo players of all ages at all levels, and also serves as a tune-up for top professional players for the winter season.

“The vision was really to extend the Wellington season,” co-owner Marc Ganzi said. “The idea from the beginning was to create a place for the people to come and play relaxed polo in the fall.”

The club has an added advantage that no other club has in the nation, which is that Wellington-based ChukkerTV live streams every game at the club.

Marc and Melissa Ganzi, owners of the Grand Champions Polo Club, along with their children Grant, a freshman at Lynn University, and Riley, a junior at St. Andrew’s School, have become ambassadors for the sport and Village of Wellington at various U.S. and international events.

Over the last 10 months, Melissa Ganzi competed in the St. Moritz Snow Polo World Tournament in Switzerland; Marc Ganzi played the East Coast Open in Greenwich, Conn.; Melissa, Grant and Riley Ganzi competed over Labor Day Weekend in the inaugural Polo America Beach Polo Cup at the historic Hotel del Coronado near San Diego; and Melissa Ganzi competed in the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, the nation’s largest polo event, in late October.

Grand Champions attracts players from around the world, including England, Argentina, Mexico, India, Canada, Ecuador, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, New Zealand and particularly the U.S., where several pros, amateurs and sponsors are based in Wellington.

“Our vision was always to see that medium-goal sponsors could transition into the high goal, and we are creating access,” Marc Ganzi said. “If we don’t create that access point where people can come into the low goal and then transition to the medium goal, U.S. high goal will die.”

Grand Champions has created a nine-tournament schedule that features seven medium and two high-goal tournaments.

In addition, legendary Hall of Famer and former 10-goaler Carlos Gracida is honored each year at Grand Champions with the Carlos Gracida Memorial Legends of Polo game, followed by the International Cup featuring Team USA against various international polo teams. The Nov. 26 season-ender is considered the social highlight of the fall.

The club’s fall season opened with the Tackeria Invitational held Sept. 27 through Oct. 2. Other October events included the U.S. Trust Cup, the Fall Classic, the USPA North American Cup, the Eastern Challenge and the Pedro Morrison Memorial.

Held Oct. 25-30, the Pedro Morrison Memorial is always a popular event. Morrison, born in Spain and a University of Miami alum, died Dec. 11, 2003 in Wellington at age 49. He was an avid polo player, patron of the Sympatico polo team and helped develop Wellington into a thriving polo community. Morrison was active in several local and area charities and businesses, touching countless lives. He remains an inspiration. His work on behalf of the YMCA of the Palm Beaches continues on through Polo with Pedro.

Grand Champions is also a hotbed for youth polo through its Polo School and also youth tournaments it hosts throughout the year. Several up-and-coming pro players have gotten their start at Grand Champions.

Grand Champions’ casual, relaxed atmosphere and great fieldside views for tournament action has appealed to fans over the years and keeps them coming back. Admission is free except for a few special events.

There is the Grand Champions Polo Club Boutique for clothes and souvenirs, and the club hosts a free Argentine asado at every championship final.

Grand Champions Polo Club is located at 13444 Southfields Road in Wellington. For more info., call (561) 644-5050, e-mail polo@gcpolo.com or visit www.gcpolo.com.