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Here's How A Hamptons Fundraiser Works



The lawn was filled with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partners dressed in pink looking out on a pink sunset.

Rows of Moet & Chandon Champagne bottles stood chilled. On the buffet were dishes from Toy Restaurant in Manhattan and Tutto Il Giorno in nearby Sag Harbor.

Plum TV LLC -- brought back into business by LXTV founders Morgan Hertzan and Joseph Varet -- was filming. DJ Cassidy, founder of DJs for Obama, was spinning.

It wasn’t the first time hedge-fund manager Richard Perry and his designer wife, Lisa, opened their home in North Haven for a cause. Still, their first paddle-board race and party to benefit Breast Cancer Research Foundation already looked like one of the most fun benefits on the East End.

“I’m a little surprised that this got traction,” said Lisa Perry standing next to her pool in vintage Pucci. “We thought maybe we’d raise $200,000 and we’re close to $550,000. I think it’s a combination of people being curious about North Haven -- they want to see the property -- and it’s BCRF and Maria Baum.” In the end the party raised more than $615,000.

Baum, a former trader, had the idea for the event over dinner with the Perrys a year ago. Richard Perry had introduced her to paddle-boarding last summer. Baum wound up going out on the water almost every day as she went through chemotherapy for breast cancer.

Bay's Beauty

“I’d be really angry, and then I’d get absorbed in the beauty of the bays,” Baum said. “I would come back so peaceful and so energized that most people didn’t realize what I was going through.”

Maria and Larry Baum and the Perrys became the event co- chairmen. Maria Baum tapped her contacts in finance, including Goldman Sachs partners Heather Shemilt, Rebecca Shaghalian, Stacy Bash-Polley and Michele Docharty, who designated Goldman Sachs Gives as a lead sponsor and member of the host committee.

This backing early in the planning process helped set the ambitious scope of the event, said Myra Biblowit, president of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Knight Capital Group Inc. and Southfield Capital Advisors LLC also supported the event.

At the party, Estee Lauder Inc. Chairman William Lauder chatted with Harvard Business School professor Robert Kaplan, while designers Donna Karan and Reed Krakoff caught up near the Champagne bar. Darcy Miller, editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings, talked with Clifford Hudis of Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center, who is the chairman of the BCRF Scientific Advisory Board.

The paddle-board race had 60 competitors, many of them new to the sport.

'I fell'

Mary Scheerer, president of Sag Harbor Industries Inc., finished first in one of the races.

“There was a lot of wind coming across the bay,” Scheerer said. “I fell 10 feet from the finish line, but my closest competitor fell more.”

The Perrys’ home, which they call “The Beach House,” wasn’t open, though one could steal a peek at the brightly colored modern art inside. The grounds offered a Calder sculpture, a Robert Indiana “Love” mosaic, large red and yellow rings by Zhu Jinshi and a pink paddle board propped against the poolside cabana, where the Perrys’ daughter, Samantha, was seen talking with friends.

Ranch hand

Navigator Group Inc. president Charles Stevenson’s son Ryland Stevenson is back in the Hamptons after working as a ranch hand, he said at a party he attended with his stepmom, writer Alex Kuczynski.

Days at Middle Fork Lodge in Challis, Idaho, started at 6 a.m. and included lugging around hoses and sprinklers and bailing hay. “I listened to lively things to keep me going,” the University of San Francisco sophomore said, “Stevie Ray Vaughn, boogie music, Johnny Lang.” As for the future: “I’d like to be a sports lawyer.”

Meanwhile the guest of honor at the party, Gigi Levangie Grazer, had just sat down with a psychic, who was on hand to help Grazer celebrate her new novel, “The After Wife,” about a 44-year-old Santa Monica, California, widow.

“The book is going to be a complete success and I’m going to have five more children,” said Grazer, who’s divorced from film producer Brian Grazer; they had two boys, 8 and 12. “And five more marriages, one for each child.”

She added: “Every book will be made into a movie starring Brad Pitt, George Clooney or Robert Pattison.”

Christopher Burch, CEO of J. Christopher Capital, hosted the party at his Southampton home, less than a mile from the C. Wonder store in the village. Burch’s firm created the chain.

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