Polo classic draws record crowds - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Polo classic draws record crowds

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash - Hats, horses and high flying plane jumpers kick off the 2009 Cobra Roofing Polo Classic in style.

"There's nothing like it west of the Mississippi," said on-looker Marcia Mandsager.

World class polo players travel from almost every corner of the globe for today's event,  to show off their skills, but more importantly they say, to support its cause.

"The comment of the day, is could you do that for the kids," said polo player Suzy Dix. "and of course, we say yes, that's what it's all about."

All proceeds from the classic benefit, Spokane's Ronald McDonald House.  A home away from home for over 500 families who's children are sick and need a place to stay while they recover in the hospital.

15-year-old Abbey Silveria,  was diagnosed with leukemia at age 5. Both her and her family once stayed at the Ronald McDonald House when she was going through her chemo treatments.

Now 7 years later, Abbey has fully recovered. Today was a proud day for  both her and her family as they watched Abbey sing our nation's anthem at the classic, she says it was for those at who helped her through her darkest hour.

"It's just a great feeling to give back to what they gave to me," says Silveria. "Its my way of saying thank you."

The classic also provided a brief moment away from the hospital  for Sarah Brown and her family who have been staying at the Ronald McDonald House for weeks. Brown's 8-year-old son parker is in the I.C.U. recovering from A.L. Leukemia.  Brown says watching these people who are there to support her gives her strength to move forward and brings tears to her eyes.

"It's overwhelming I keep getting goosebumps," says Brown.  "I never thought we would be a charity family,  it's not something you ever hope or think is going to happen. The Ronald's are in our heart and I know that someday we'll get to reciprocate."

Last year the polo classic brought in over 180-thousand dollars for the Ronald McDonald House, this year they're shooting for over 200-thousand. Organizers say with a sold out crowd, their goal shouldn't be a problem.

Kaitlyn Bolduc
KHQ Reporter

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