2013-12-19 / Top News

Polo Club president John Wash receives ‘community giant’ award

SPECIAL TO FLORIDA WEEKLY


John Wash and the Polo Club were honored by the Inner City Youth Golfers for its program for fourth-grade students. 
COURTESY PHOTO John Wash and the Polo Club were honored by the Inner City Youth Golfers for its program for fourth-grade students. COURTESY PHOTO John Wash, president of the International Polo Club and The Wanderers Club Wellington, received the Founders Award at the Inner City Youth Golfers recognition dinner earlier this month.

The celebration, hosted at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, included a lineup of community leaders, according to a prepared statement from the Polo Club. The awards are granted annually to community leaders, organizations and sporting venues that give of their time and resources to further the mission of ICYG. The Community Giants awards recognize leaders in four categories — management, community service, leadership and founders.

Mr. Wash was recognized by ICYG founder, Malachi Knowles, for the Founders Award.

“We are pleased to honor IPC’s outstanding service to our community by introducing our schoolchildren to polo, and for spearheading economic development by providing jobs for our families,” said Esmeralda H. Knowles, executive director of the organization, in the statement. “We are inspired by IPC’s continuous work through the Polo Training Foundation, and their overall commitment to the sport of polo and the South Florida equestrian community. For these reasons, this year’s highest honor is awarded to the International Polo Club.”

Since 2002, the International Polo Club Palm Beach has hosted a day of polo for as many as 1,400 fourth-grade students from area schools. This equates to more than 14,000 local students being introduced to the sport in the last decade. Teams of boys and girls were trained by the world’s greatest professional polo players to wield mallets on mounted polo ponies and charge down the field. Students cheered on their schoolmates during the exhibition match, then joined them on the field to participate in the divot stomp, and afterward, were treated to lunch.

Mr. Wash accepted the award along with the IPC executive team. “It is an honor to receive the Founders Award from ICYG,” Mr. Wash said in the statement. “We really enjoy teaching children about polo, and the smiles on their faces are priceless.”

Other 2013 award winners included George W. Linley, Palm Beach County Sports Commission; Clarence D. Williams III, Riviera Beach Police Chief; Tony T. Brown, Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Agency; Marcia J. Andrews, Palm Beach County School Board; Iris Jones, BB&T Bank; Joanna Aiken, Rebuilding Together of the Palm Beaches; and Lt. Beverly J. Elliott-Morrison, retired, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department. Also honored were Carol A. Roberts, Chair, Palm Beach County Health Care District; Attorney F. Martin Perry, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Palm Beaches; and the late Herman McCray.

ICYG was incorporated with a vision toward enhancing the lives of disadvantaged children and families in Palm Beach County. ICYG is an academic excellence and golf program that uses the etiquette, rules, behavior, dress, and speech associated with the sport to help inner city children focus on the positive, mold them into good citizens, and make them future role models, according to the statement. Teachers, law enforcement, and amateur and professional golfers provide golf instruction utilizing the rules and code of conduct of the PGA, LPGA, and the USGA.

The International Polo Club Palm Beach is in Wellington. Founded in 2002, IPC is host to major tournaments and events throughout the year, including the highest goal polo played in the U.S. from January through April. ¦

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