Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen at Heart of the...

Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen at Heart of the Hamptons ball Credit: Photo by Lee Fryd

"The Real Housewives of New York City" separated into their own Hamptons camps Saturday night. In Bridgehampton, at the American Heart Association’s Heart of the Hamptons Ball: Alex McCord and Simon Van Kempen, with new best friends Ramona and Mario Singer. In Southampton: Jill Zarin, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, and the Countess LuAnn de Lesseps convened at the Phoenix House party. Jennifer Gilbert co-hosted. We call her “Switzerland.”

This is the second year Alex and Simon have planned a weekend around Heart of the Hamptons (held at the Hayground School). “Simon and I both lost our dads to heart attacks,” Alex told us. “And Simon had a big scare last year. He went to check out chest pains and was suddenly thown into an ambulance going down Fifth Avenue to Beth Israel. Luckily it wasn’t a heart attack but it was a wake-up call for both of us.

“This is what we did: He quit smoking cold turkey and we got involved with the American Heart Association. That helped keep him honest with the smoking. And we felt, ‘Why have we not been involved before?’ It was such a personal connection for both of us"

Alex says much has changed in the decades since they lost their fathers. “Some of the things that are available now, like stents, weren’t available to our fathers. So, a condition that would have been fatal in the past is not necessarily a death sentence now."

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