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The Hamptons’ Biggest Event Benefits All

By all accounts, the biggest event in the Hamptons—at least when it comes to sheer numbers—and one of the longest-running ones, too, is the annual Southampton Hospital Summer Party…

For the last 10 years, the Alex Donner Orchestra has performed at the party. To rev up the evening a little bit the chairwoman of the party this year helped choose a theme inspired by the Grand Prix Monaco.

Supporting that theme, Ms. Lofaro Freeman had the tent dressed like Monaco’s Hotel de Paris and organized the transport of three rare Formula One cars (a 1981 Tyrrell 011, a 1979 Williams FW and a Bugatti) so they could be on the lawn for viewing during the cocktail hour. To track down these kind of vehicles, it helps to have a husband who’s been racing Formula One cars as a hobby for the last 25 years. (Her husband, James Freeman, also runs a small advisory investment bank.)

Ms. Lofaro Freeman also hoped to convey to attendees that “we live in a small village,” albeit a small village that raises something like $1.8 million at an annual summer benefit. Should all small villages be so flush! The truth is: The reason that something like 1,000 people attend this fundraiser is that it is really the only major medical facility in 60 miles and serves Westhampton to Montauk…


Kate Edmonds Donner and Alex Donner

…That, perhaps, and planning an annual fundraiser for a 1,000 plus. “There’s a group of women who organize this,” he said. “I really leave it in their hands. I know how to run a hospital, but I wouldn’t even know how to run a party this big.”

This article appeared August 6, 2012, on page A19 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal.