George Soros, the billionaire investor, was auction bait Saturday night.
"See my dad in shorts," said Alexander Soros, 26, as he solicited bids for a membership at Manhattan's Sitaras Gym, where he and his father exercise.
He sounded like any guy making a joke at Dad's expense -- although the vague promise of proximity in this case entailed a sweaty legend of finance and philanthropy.
The occasion was a party in Bridgehampton, New York, organized by the son under the auspices of his Alexander Soros Foundation, which underwrote the event's costs. The beneficiary was Global Witness, whose staff of 65 investigates corruption and human-rights abuses related to natural resources. George Soros's Open Society Foundations is a major funder of the organization, which is based in London with an office in Washington.
The younger Soros and his co-host, writer and director Edward Zwick, sold the gym package for $2,500. A lunch for four including economist Nouriel Roubini at Daniel Boulud's DGBG also went for $2,500. A backstage visit with Justin Bieber commanded $10,000.
George Soros, 81, dressed in a plaid shirt and slacks, sat through the proceedings almost unnoticed. His son, wearing a crisp white Yves Saint Laurent suit, was the one guests knew or wanted to meet.
Left, Alexander Soros, a graduate student in history and a member of the Global Witness advisory board, and Silas Siakor, lead campaigner for community rights at the Sustainable Development Institute in Liberia.
Soros presented Siakor with an award for his work exposing corruption in the logging industry in Liberia.