As world-class polo players and fans celebrated the close of another exciting season at International Polo Club Palm Beach recently, a couple of enterprising business students from Palm Beach Atlantic University may have come out the biggest winners of all — at least from their perspective.
For successfully running the club’s popular Kids Fun Zone during the 16-week polo season, the students — both attending PBA’s Rinker School of Business — were awarded scholarships by the International Polo Club to travel to Brazil for a 10-day educational business trip that they took earlier this month.
|International Polo Club President John Wash, right, presents a scholarship to Palm Beach Atlantic University business student Lewis Thompson, center. At left is Dr. Ann Langlois, associate professor of business at PBA. Not photographed is student Angie Moreau.|
“This program is a win-win for IPC and PBA. It is so nice to know that the money we spend on the Kids Fun Zone is helping to educate and train future business leaders. This is one of the great things about my job, I get to make decisions daily that help other people,” said John Wash, president of the International Polo Club.
Lewis Thompson, a graduating senior, and Angie Moreau, a junior, netted more than $10,850 running the Kids Fun Zone, a club service designed to entertain the children of parents who want to spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon watching professional polo. The monies were applied to the IPC scholarships funding the business trip.
“Managing the Kids Fun Zone every Sunday for four months was like running a small business for them, and they did a fantastic job in raising money and awareness about the service,” said Dr. Ann Langlois, an associate professor in the Rinker School of Business, who oversees the scholarship program with the International Polo Club.
Dr. Langlois explained that each week the students were given a $1,000 budget to entertain the children. They had to contact and book vendors, negotiate contracts, schedule dates, keep the books and troubleshoot a myriad of problems on the fly — all while staying under budget. The students booked vendors as diverse as a face painting service to pony rides to a presentation from a local science museum.
Thompson and Moreau also created a marketing program, with fliers distributed to parents every week, in the hope of generating greater awareness about the Kids Fun Zone. The service cost parents only $10 — but it was all profit to the students.
Any profits they generated or monies saved under budget, they could keep and apply toward their scholarships. This season, the students created enough profit and savings to cover the full cost of the trip to Brazil, according to Dr. Langlois.
This is the second year the International Polo Club has offered scholarships to Rinker business students. Last year’s participants used the Kids Fun Zone experience to fund a 10-day trip to Dubai.
“The IPC scholarship program has given our students a chance to run a business, travel abroad and expand their knowledge of international business,” said Dr. Langlois. “It’s a great opportunity. The students learn leadership skills that will prove invaluable after college.”
Along with the entertainment that the PBA students brought in, the Kids Fun Zone also featured a bounce house for children age 7 and under, a giant inflatable slide, a huge rock climbing wall, an inflatable obstacle course, spin art and sand art, and a bungee trampoline, as well as food and drinks.
With the successful 10th Anniversary Season now in the record books, the International Polo Club will shift to the off-season and hosting several global sporting events, including the USPA Youth Polo events, as well as summer polo camps, large charity events and fundraisers.
International Polo Club Palm Beach is located at 3667 120th Ave. S., between Pierson Road and Lake Worth Road in Wellington. For more information, please call the club at 561-204-5687 or visit the website at InternationalPoloClub.com.