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Beyond Beauty Gala Hits $1M for OCD Research

230 industry executives gathered in the Union League Club Tuesday evening for the fifth annual Beyond Beauty fund-raising dinner.

Heidi Manheimer, Lesley Jane Seymour, Judy Collins, Linda Marshall and Jenn Marshall.

“It touches my heart very deeply to see you all turn out for this event,” said Linda Marshall, a mother with a mission. She was addressing 230 industry executives gathered in the Union League Club Tuesday evening for the fifth annual Beyond Beauty fund-raising dinner for the James E. Marshall OCD Foundation.

This story first appeared in the February 6, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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. The dinner generated $220,000, pushing the five-year total past $1 million.

The honorees were Heidi Manheimer, chief executive officer of Shiseido Cosmetics America, and Lesley Jane Seymour, editor in chief of More Magazine. The master of ceremonies was Mika Brzezinski, co-host of “Morning Joe” on MSNBC.

“It’s a privilege to be honored,” said Manheimer. “Five years ago, I didn’t have an awareness of the disorder and how devastating it is. I’m proud to help raise awareness.” She added that the foundation’s half-decade of fund-raising is “nothing short of a miracle.” Added Seymour: “It’s a worthy cause and whenever you can use your position to get the word out, it raises awareness and makes people’s lives better.”

The headliner of the night was Sixties folk music legend Judy Collins, who talked tenderly about her father’s affliction from alcoholism and sang five songs, including her signature version of “Both Sides Now.” She joked about collaborating on a recording with Dolly Parton and observed, “when Dolly Parton wants to do ‘Both Sides Now,’ you know the Sixties are coming back.”

The Marshall Foundation works with Johns Hopkins Medicine, which researches the genetic cause of OCD and is trying to isolate the gene tied to the disorder, said Gerald Nestadt, M.D., the director of the OCD Clinic at Johns Hopkins Medicine and principal investigator of genetic research.

During the dinner, Marshall, co-founder and president of Elysée Scientific Cosmetics, presented the evening’s check to Nestadt. “This is the only event in the U.S. where funds are raised for OCD,” he said.