Point Foundation Honors New York: David Burtka Hosts Star-Studded Event
By Jerry Portwood
David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris | Photos: A.Sussman/Invision
Last night, despite the terrible news coming in from the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, a group of dedicated philanthropists and LGBT allies turned out for the annual Point Foundation Honoring New York gala.
The organization supports LGBT college students with scholarships and mentoring and includes many high-profile supporters, including Judith Light, Ally Sheedy, and Neil Patrick Harris and his fiance David Burtka, the latter who was hosting the event, which took place at Chelsea Piers Pier 60.
Civil rights activist and living legend David Mixner (pictured) presented the Courage Award to fashion photographer and activist Nigel Barker. The two actually know each other fairly well since Barker is currently working on a documentary about Mixner's life and work.
A moving speech was also given by author Cris Beam, who received a scholarship to receive her MFA at Columbia in nonfiction writing during the organization's first year. She quipped that she thought when she first heard of the scholarship fund offered by Point, she thought it must be a Nigerian email scam, "because nobody supported the queer kids." She published her first book, Transparent: Love, Family and Living the T, to wide critical acclaim and has since published others, including her most recent, titled To The End of June: the Intimate Life of American Foster Care.
“So many young people around the country are wondering if they can get a higher education degree and pursue their dreams of becoming doctors, artists, or professionals of one kind or another,” said Jorge Valencia, executive director and CEO of Point Foundation. “They are worried about money, but—especially for the LGBTQ young people—it’s also a crisis of confidence. They need to see successful people like our honorees stand up and say ‘We believe in you. We want you to succeed and we will help you.’”
The most surprising and moving part of the evening was when Judith Light presented the Inspiration Award to The Estée Lauder Companies. Accepted by Peter Lichtenthal, president of Bumble and bumble and Smashbox, he also announced that The Estée Lauder Companies would fund a $100,000 Named Point Scholarship.
Jorge Valencia presented with $100,000 check by Peter Lichtenthal of Estée Lauder Companies
With all the depressing news of death and destruction in Boston, it was a great way to end the evening—and truly inspiring. The event ultimately raised over $660,000 for scholarships for LGBT college students. For more information on Point Foundation, and how to donate, visit the website. Check out a selection of images of those in attendance below.
Ally Sheedy (right) and Point Scholar
Host David Burtka
Peter Lichtenthal and Judith Light
Judith Light and Nigel Barker
Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka