Polo for Philanthropy, a local nonprofit who benefits charitable organizations through equine related events is hosting Polo en Blanc benefiting Depart Smart, a Minnesota nonprofit dedicated to safe travels, especially for students.

The concept for Polo en Blanc (French for “Polo in White”) began in 1988, when Francois Pasquier in Paris wanted to reconnect with friends. He invited them to each bring a meal and a friend, and meet in a public park for a picnic. To ensure that they would find each other, Pasquier asked them to all dress in white.

The idea caught on and is now so popular, it’s spread to cities around the globe, including Shanghai, Montreal, Perth, Sao Paulo, London, and a host of cities in the United States. At each one, thousands of people dressed in white gather for a chic event with white tables, chairs, dresses, hats, and even masks

The event happens at the Twin City Polo Club, 6755 Turner Road, Maple Plain, MN from 5:30 until 11:00 PM. Entry to Polo en Blanc costs $25. Various food and wine packages are available to purchase in advance. The event is open to the public. Tickets should be purchased in advance.  To reserve your spot purchase tickets at https://departsmart.org/dinerenblanc/.

Polo en Blanc evening beings with qualifying polo matches among players and horses from Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Professional international polo players form Argentina, Dominican Republic and other countries will also be qualifying. Five men’s teams and two women’s teams will compete in a tournament beginning Thursday. Women’s competition is Sunday only.

In the French tradition white apparel sets the ambiance against white linens, stemware, and place settings. Guests will enjoy live music, a show of luxury, classic and exotic white cars, a white floral competition, fashions in white and more.

The international reach of Polo en Blanc is fitting for Depart Smart, founded by Sheryl and Allen Hill of Mound, MN after the preventable death of their sixteen-year-old son, Tyler, on a student trip to Japan. Depart Smart is raising funds and awareness for the first online education to provide travelers, especially students and faculty, with transformative, life-saving tools and information to identify and mitigate risks so they can advocate for themselves abroad.  No other nonprofit does this work.

“It is such an honor and privilege for Depart Smart to be beneficiary of Polo for Philanthropy’s Polo en Blanc.”  Hill says.  “What a fun and engaging way to save lives and protect people abroad!”