Leisure Cover Stories

Polo Party: SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital

All children need regular visits to the doctor to ensure they grow up happy and healthy, but not all families have medical insurance or other resources necessary to make that possible. The Danis Pediatric Center at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital provides outpatient care to children, regardless of their families’ ability to pay. To help ensure it never has to turn away a child, Cardinal Glennon raises funds for the center through Glennon Gallop, its annual polo match and party.

This year, the event is Sept. 22 at Kräftig Polo Club. “It’s one of the premier events in the city and really unlike anything else,” notes Sandy Koller, vice president of philanthropy for the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation. “We call it ‘A White Hot Affair’ because everyone wears white. It’s very glamorous.” She says the event takes fundraising out of the typical ballroom setting and places guests field-side for the exhilaration of a fast-paced polo match. Along with watching the players and horses who appear courtesy of the St. Louis Polo Club, guests can listen to the music of local group Pik’n Lik’n, participate in a mid-match divot stomp and enjoy a champagne toast on the field. New this year, one player will be presented the MVP Award in honor of Stephen Orthwein, a polo icon and former president of the St. Louis Polo Club who passed away earlier this year.

Koller says the different ticket prices include a VIP level. These ticketholders can access a climate-controlled party tent with premier wines from A. Bommarito Wines, a luncheon catered by Bartolino’s Family of Restaurants, and live and silent auctions. Field-side guests can enjoy tailgating, food from Super Smokers, and family-friendly entertainment, including a bounce house and live DJ. “It’s just a really fun time for everyone attending,” Koller says. Guests also can visit Retail Row where vendors sell fashionable items that can be worn during the event. A percentage of all sales will be given to the Danis Pediatric Center. Retail partners include Hats by Di-Anne, Great Knots, Giddyup Jane, The Vault, Tess Jewelry, Hello Dobson, Modern Tribe, The Normal Brand, Popticals and Niki + Miche Fashion Truck.

Glennon Gallop’s presenting sponsor is the T. Danis Charitable Trust. The event is co-chaired by Doug Sansone of the St. Louis Polo Club and his wife, Molly, and Cardinal Glennon board member Chrissy Nardini and her husband, Mike. The luncheon is chaired by Michael and Claire Todorovich. With the funds raised, Cardinal Glennon hopes to expand the Danis Pediatric Center, originally designed to provide services to 5,000 patients annually. Now, the center’s two locations are visited more than 20,000 times annually, and 85 percent of the children it serves are below the poverty level. The center serves children from newborn to age 18 and addresses all aspects of pediatrics, including mental and emotional health. “Both the location at Cardinal Glennon and the midtown site are at full capacity, so we are seeking ways to offer access to more kids,” Koller says. “Glennon Gallop funds will help with expansion. It’s a beautiful afternoon in the countryside as well as a great way to help Cardinal Glennon kids.”

Pictured above: Players on the field at Glennon Gallop.

Glennon Gallop is Sept. 22 at Kräftig Polo Club and supports the Danis Pediatric Center at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. Pictured on the cover, standing: Molly and Doug Sansone, Chrissy and Mike Nardini. Seated: Claire and Michael Todorovich. For more information, call 314.577.5605 or visit glennon.org/gallop

Cover design by Allie Bronsky
Cover photo by Tim Parker Photography