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Get Ready to Party: The Denim & Diamonds Gala Returning After a Four-Year Hiatus!

Wellington, Florida – September 15, 2003 – At the urging of equestrians everywhere, the hottest party in Palm Beach County is being resurrected after a four-year hiatus. The party?: The Denim & Diamonds Gala, last held during The 2000 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington. Producers and Chairmen, Mason Phelps, Jr. and Beverly Lake Wilkes, who ran Denim & Diamonds each year from the mid- ‘90s through 2000, and who will run the 2004 event, have been inundated over the past few years with a chorus of requests to bring back the extravaganza.

And now, The United States Equestrian Team (the “USET”) has weighed in with its opinion – let’s party! The USET, historically the beneficiary of Denim & Diamonds, will once again be the 2004 beneficiary. During the event’s successful, prior six-year run, over $1 million was raised for the USET. With the upcoming 2004 Olympic Games in the offing, the timing is ideal to bring back this major fund-raiser.

Denim & Diamonds will take place during the height of The 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, which is the most prominent horseshow in the U. S., attracting over 4,000 horses and 6,000 people to Palm Beach County during its eight-week run. All of the Olympic hopefuls and other top equestrians will be in Wellington to compete.

Denim & Diamonds will be held on Sunday, February 15, 2004, beginning at 6:30 pm, at The South Florida Expo Center located at The South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach. With over 2,000 partiers expected to attend, The Expo Center provides the requisite space, parking and facilities to handle such a major event.

The 2004 theme will be “Denim & Diamonds: Back to the Future”, brought to life by event-planner extraordinaire Bruce Sutka. Sutka has orchestrated all prior Denim & Diamonds, with themes ranging from circus and sideshow, complete with elephants, to New York City ‘70s disco to the Wild West. “Back to the Future” will lead the partiers on a journey through prior Olympic cities, such as Paris and Sydney, with area cuisine and décor, plus performers in ethnic costume. After visiting these venues, the journey will end in the main ballroom, which will be transformed into a replica of Athens.

As for entertainment, that is still in the works. But, if the past indicates the future, top groups will certainly be on that Athens stage. Having had the likes of Donna Summer, The Village People, The Pointer Sisters and Blood Sweat & Tears perform in prior years, Denim & Diamonds will most certainly have the same quality of entertainers.

In keeping with Denim & Diamonds’ tradition, there will also be a high-end silent auction as well as the usually hilarious auction of riding lessons with some of the most well-known equestrians in the U. S.

The Vice-Chairmen of “Denim & Diamonds: Back to the Future” are respected figures in the equestrian community: Janice Aron, Joannie Goodman and Frances Lindner -- hunters/jumpers; Mary Anne McPhail and Norman Peslar – dressage; Tim Gannon and John Goodman -- polo.

Ticket prices will be $300 each, with VIP tables at $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000.

For further information, contact Mason Phelps, Jr. or Beverly Lake Wilkes of Phelps Wilkes & Associates, Inc. at (561) 753-3389 or at


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