A more than 25-year veteran volunteer at Our Daily Bread, Mary Agnes Lewis wished there was more that she could do for the program she was so passionate about. From that passion, the Ten Oaks Polo Cup Match benefiting Our Daily Bread was born, raising more than $250,000 for the program since its inception.
With 10 children, 17 grandchildren and a knack for hosting social gatherings and holiday dinners, Mary Agnes Lewis knows how to cook for large crowds. So, more than 25 years ago when a young priest at St. Louis Parish in Clarksville asked, “Would anybody be able to make a meal,” Mary Agnes eagerly signed up to put her love of cooking to the test by preparing monthly meals for Our Daily Bread.
Under the organization of Mary Agnes, baked chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans is prepared and served to the guests of Our Daily Bread the 2nd Tuesday of every month by the parishioners of St. Louis. Now in her 80s, Mary Agnes remains committed to putting on an apron and filling plates at the program. “I get a warm feeling whenever I’m working with other volunteers who are giving of themselves. It’s inspiring,” she says.
About eight years ago, Mary Agnes’ longtime passion for Our Daily Bread and serving the guests made her think, “I wish there was something we could do to make more of an impact and raise money for the facility.” She happened to say this one day in her kitchen while chatting with her son, Jim Lewis, and family friend, Charlie Muldoon, who is a professional Polo player.
Charlie had an idea, “We could do a charity polo match.” Mary Agnes replied, “Where?” Charlie’s solution, “How about right out there on your field?”
From that conversation, the Ten Oaks Cup Polo Match was born which Mary Agnes and her husband, Dr. Fred Lewis, have sponsored on their farm for what will be the sixth year this upcoming June. With the help of Charlie, Jim, and the Lewis’ other 9 children and 17 grandchildren, the Ten Oaks Cup has raised over $250,000 with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Our Daily Bread. Hosts Fred and Mary Agnes cover all of the expenses, and everyone involved, including the polo players, volunteer their time to make the event a success.
Since the Ten Oaks Cup event is the only one of its kind in Howard County, Charlie Muldoon hopes that the Pretty Woman image of a stuffy formal event does not turn away potential fans. Last year more than 700 people attended the Ten Oaks Cup. Mr. Muldoon will be joining the ranks of other professionals and amateurs returning to play in this year’s match. His advice to nearby residents – get out your shorts and have fun ‘til sundown.