By  on February 9, 2010

Beyond Beauty, the annual fund-raising event that benefits the James E. Marshall OCD Foundation, took in $310,000 last week, the most money raised by the dinner in its six-year history.

“We really are making a difference,” Linda Marshall, who is secretary of the foundation and president and owner of Elysée Scientific Cosmetics, told a gathering of 260 industry executives at Manhattan’s Union League Club Thursday.

Named after Marshall’s son, who died of complications from obsessive-compulsive disorder, the foundation is devoted to raising awareness of the disease and finding a cure.

Marshall, who said the concept of Beyond Beauty is about inner beauty, noted the total amount of funds raised by Beyond Beauty overall has reached more than $1.3 million.

The dinner, which was emceed by actress Susan Saint James and featured an appearance by Morgan Fairchild, honored Iain R. Holding, president of Beiersdorf North America Inc., and Joseph C. Magnacca, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer of Duane Reade Inc. The evening’s festivities were capped off by a performance by songwriting and recording artists Ashford & Simpson.

During the presentation, Marshall presented a check for the funds raised Thursday to Dr. Gerald Nestadt, the director of the OCD Clinic at Johns Hopkins Medicine and principal investigator of genetic research. Johns Hopkins Medicine researches the genetic cause of OCD and is trying to isolate the gene that causes the disorder.

Nestadt indicated that a gene identified in fetal development might be key in the development of the condition.

Fairchild, who noted that a friend connected her to Marshall, said, “You just want to do what you can and support friends. As much as it affects people’s lives, a lot of people are not as aware of [OCD] as they should be.”

“With the information [Marshall] gave me on the devastating effect that OCD has on millions,” said Holding, “it’s a profound privilege to be honored and support this wonderful cause.”

Magnacca referred to the beauty industry a “family,” and added that, “It really is about the industry giving back to the community.”

During her speech, Saint James called OCD “prevalent in the world,” and added that upward of six million Americans suffer from some form of the “debilitating and misunderstood disease. Any time you step up to the plate to do something, it’s a great thing,” she said.

Holding called Marshall’s mission “inspirational,” adding, “a person’s psychological health is a core dimension of their beauty.”

Magnacca spoke of when he first met Marshall and dubbed her determination the “LMF,” or “Linda Marshall Factor.” He said she took over the meeting and convinced him that the cause is “something you just feel the need to get involved with.” He said the LMF will lead to a cure for OCD.

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