PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — The recently held Gala la Bamba raised more than $32,000 for the Opera House Theater, a new record in fundraising from the Newport Polo Club’s annual black-tie charity gala, announced Newport Polo.
Gala la Bamba welcomed more than 400 guests in black tie and evening gowns for a night of gourmet cuisine, dancing, and heart-warming philanthropy to welcome international guests of honor, the Mexican Polo Team, at Rosecliff, one of Newport’s famed Bellevue Avenue mansions.
“When we first supported the Opera House in 2009, they were just starting this lengthy project, and it looked like an insurmountable task,” said Dan Keating, president and founder of Newport Polo. “But after years of dedication, the team at the Opera House is in the homestretch of the extensive renovation.
“Our hope is to help push them over the hump this year because supporting this project will enhance the year-round cultural fabric of Newport County and reap benefits indefinitely into the future, for generations to come. We are fortunate to have this group of individuals in our community, who have made the Newport Opera House Theater & Performing Arts Center a reality for all of us.”
Funds from Gala la Bamba, and other donations this year are doubling their impact through an awarded matching grant program. With its sights set on a 2018 grand reopening, the Opera House Theater renovation team is continuing its capital campaign.
A long-lasting contribution can be made when you “Take Your Seat in Newport History” by dedicating one of the plush new theater seats in honor of your family, special friend or a loved one, with an inscription on a permanent brass name plate affixed to the new theater’s seats.
The sold-out gala began with a cocktail party with the Mexican Team on the decks of the newly opened Regent Cocktail Club at Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina, where the team was headquartered.
The team then left for Rosecliff for a reception on the terrace with gala ambassadors Dorienne and Mohamad Farzan, project architects from Opera House Theater; and polo ambassadors Mary Marwick and Peter Jenkins from the Newport Polo Club.
An enchanting panorama of gardens and twilight ocean views drew guests out onto the lawn in costume. Details ranged from fancy sombreros, bolos, linen wedding shirts and serape tapestries accenting gentlemen’s tuxedos, and red was the color of the night for evening gowns.
Popular accents included bold embroidery, lace, floral headdresses, and ornate hand fans.
Enticing hors d’oeuvres were passed and specialty cocktails from Patrón Spirits and the Cocktail Guru enhanced the mood for a highly anticipated Silent Auction of unique opportunities offered over the course of the evening.
As the colors of dusk faded, guests adjourned for a seated gourmet dinner in the gilded ballroom adorned in the colors of the Mexican tri-color. Live musical entertainment from Decades by Dezyne added to the magic, and a live auction was led by Emlen Drayton, who offered up the night’s crown jewels.
Blackstone Catering’s chef created the Mexican-inspired hors d’oeuvres, 3-course dinner and dessert station. Après dinner guests joined the party to heighten the competition in silent auction bidding, and enjoyed refreshments and dancing under the 10-piece orchestra until the stroke of midnight.
The odyssey’s finale ascended to the Skybar atop Clarke Cooke House for a last dance.
Newport Polo is the host of the Newport International Polo Series, and home of America’s first polo club, offering exhibition polo and club member services and instruction for outdoor and arena polo.
Celebrating its 26th season, Newport Polo has raised more than $1,285,500 for civic and charitable organizations. Initiatives include the International Polo Charity Ball, special benefit matches, and countless ticket donations for the Newport International Polo Series.