LOS ANGELES, Sept. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Point Foundation (Point), the nation's largest scholarship granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students of merit, today announced that it raised approximately $300,000 at the Point Honors 5th Annual Los Angeles Gala on Saturday, September 24. The contributions came from corporate sponsorships, table and ticket sales, as well as items sold during a spirited live auction. The event, held at Hollywood's Jim Henson Studios, was hosted by comedian Joel McHale, best known for hosting E!'s wildly popular show The Soup and star of NBC's Community.
A highlight of the evening was the presentation of three special awards. HBO received the Point Inspiration Award, given to a corporation or organization that champions respect and inclusion of the LGBT community and operates with the vision that investing in today's potential will produce a brighter tomorrow. Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, stars of HBO's True Blood, welcomed Michael Lombardo, President of Programming at HBO, to the stage to accept the award on behalf of the company, which also funds the HBO Point Scholarship.
Noted director, choreographer and producer Adam Shankman, presented the Point Horizon Award to Fox's So You Think You Can Dance choreographer and dancer Travis Wall. As a young, proud gay man, Wall has proven to be the kind of unwavering advocate of the LGBT community that is expected of all Point Scholars.
In celebrating Point's 10-year anniversary, one of the most moving and inspiring parts of the evening was the presentation and instituting of the Point Founders Award to the organizations founders: Bruce Lindstrom, Carl Strickland and John Pence. As a result of the their commitment to education and their perseverance to make a difference in the LGBT community, the organization has to date supported 195 scholars in various disciplines including law, political science, medicine, education and visual and performing arts. Current Point Scholar, Isaiah Baiseri, paid tribute to these three, visionary men in his speech at the event:
"I would like to thank our founders, Bruce, Carl and John, who imagined a better world, a new world where I am valued because I am committed to making the lives of other LGBT people better. Today I stand among you -- proud to say thank you for your enthusiasm, your support and to affirm that my new life as a new college freshman is not what I imagined it be; it is better! Thank you Point Foundation."
Bringing much glamour, fun and entertainment to the evening were a number of celebrity presenters and performers, including, John Michael Higgins, Rex Lee, Adam Pally, Pauley Perrette, Busy Philipps, Sara Rue, Tyler Robinson and Jake Walden.
Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation, reminded the audience that for all there is to celebrate about the growth of Point over the last ten years, the need for financial support, mentorship and sense of community among LGBT students remains great.
"Many LGBT students have the grades and the criteria to be accepted into higher educational institutions, but have no way of realistically getting there. In fact, the dropout rate for LGBT students is three times the national average, on top of which, they are dealing daily with harassment and violence, even more reason to question their desires to go to college. And that's why an increasing number are turning to Point."
Sponsors of Point Honors Los Angeles included Audi, Motorola, Wells Fargo, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, Toyota, Grey Goose, Coca-Cola, Smart Water and Vitamin Water.
About Point Foundation
Point Foundation (Point) is the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students of merit. Point provides financial support, leadership training, mentoring and hope to LGBT individuals who are marginalized because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Point provides its scholars with the financial ability to attend the nation's foremost higher educational institutions and its donors and mentors with the rare satisfaction of directly investing their resources and time in future generations of leaders. Since its inception in 2000, Point has helped over 190 individual scholars with over $5.3 million in direct financial support for their college education. Point Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) organization.
SOURCE Point Foundation