Fundraiser to help man who lost eight horses in barn fire
A tragic barn fire on March 9 took the life of eight of Omar Cepeda’s prize horses. Now the International Polo Club Palm Beach and polo hall-of-famer Tim Gannon are having a cocktail reception Saturday, March 23 at the exclusive Mallet Grill.
Cepeda's best horses perished after an electrical overload caused a barn to catch fire. The horses, some of them valued at $50,000 each, could not be saved by Palm Beach County Fire Rescue's 31 firefighters and nine fire trucks. Saddles and other equipment were lost in the fire. Immediately, Cepeda received tack and stable supplies from The Tackeria in Wellington and various other items from other friends.
Dave Offen of the Polo Players Support Group, Inc. said in a release although the loss falls outside the scope of the foundation, its Board of Directors are coming to the aid of Cepeda by trying to raise $100,000 through a special group, Friends Of Omar, asking for a minimum donation of $1,000.
"Omar is a great horseman and a true gentleman on and off the field," Offen said. "Omar relies on selling horses as his primary source of income and was counting on selling all or most of this group as a very large part of his overall yearly income.
Those who have already pledged at least $1,000 are: Tim Gannon, Steve and Ginny Orthwein, Phil Heatley, Tony Coppola, Joe and Diana Dimenna, Nic Roldan, April Clark, Richard Schechter, Neil Hirsch, Beau and Dea Van Metre, Scott Swerdlin, Jim Braden, Phillip Staples, Bart Frye, Gerry Spitler, Barb Uskup, Nick Brien, Joe Meyer, Jim Whisenand, Tom Sikes, Doug Matthews, John Ingram, Harley Stimmel, Bill Farish, Don Dufresne, Scott Devon, John Walsh, Steve Felker, Barbara Wyatt, Dennis Trescott, Mike Egan, Team USPA Players, Cliff Sifton and Mason Phelps.
Any and all donations will be appreciated. Make checks payable to Omar Cepeda. The checks may be brought to the cocktail reception or mailed to David Offen, 11924 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 22-287, Wellington, FL 33414.