Attorney Camara Mathis (left) and her father, Judge Greg Mathis, help host Polo x Jazz 2023 at the Congressional Polo Club with organizer Susan Smallwood, founder and CEO of Grandiosity Events. (Photos courtesy of Susan Smallwood)

By Mekhi Abbott,
Special to the AFRO

On Sept. 23, Susan Smallwood, founder and CEO of Grandiosity Events, organized the seventh annual Celebrity Charity PoloXJazz event in Poolesville, Md. 

The event, hosted by Judge Greg Mathis, faced some climate issues due to Tropical Storm Ophelia. Due to the storm, the windy weekend included rain and overcast skies, but Smallwood was determined to persevere through the conditions. 

“The show must go on! We did a hard pivot in 24 hours!” said Smallwood, in a statement sent to the AFRO after the event. 

Even with a State of Emergency called by Governor Wes Moore, the charity event still saw a turnout of approximately 700 people with a lot of out-of-state attendees. 

The stormy but successful weekend saw donations from Verizon, Tito’s handcrafted vodka, Hermanos Tequila, plus many more from a litany of different companies and sponsors. In total, the event brought home more than $7,500 in donations to organizations which included Black Mental Health Alliance and Latinas Leading Tomorrow. 

Celebrity artist Demont Pinder was able to sell one of his paintings for $2,500 as well. 

The all black polo team composed of Eric Brown, Miguel Wilson, Dale Johnson and Kevin Scott were not able to compete due to the weather conditions, but they did attend and were recognized. 

Shown here, from left to right, Dale Johnson, Eric Brown, Susan Smallwood, Kevin Scott and Miguel Wilson. (Photos courtesy of Susan Smallwood)

“We had a grand time celebrating and benefitting dual charities. My grand team did a hard pivot, they rocked out with me,” said Smallwood, in reference to the execution of the event even with all the unforeseen issues. “We made magic happen!”

Smallwood and Grandiosity Events are already in the process of developing next years’ Celebrity Charity PoloXJazz event.