PHOTOS: Edward Albee, Judith Light, Big Ang And More Salute Point Foundation Scholars in New York

Paying for college is tough enough, but when you’re an LGBT student and your family has thrown you out, it can be darn near impossible. Even if their parents are supportive, the cards are often stacked against gay kids rising to fulfill their potential. That’s where the Point Foundation steps in with essential scholarships that enable young LGBT to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees. Monday night at Chelsea Piers, the Point Foundation held its fifth annual Point Honors New York, where emcee Ted Allen (above with True Blood‘s Denis O’Hare) shared the stage with Judith Light, Mercedes Ruhl—who introduced Point Legend Award recipient Edward AlbeeQueer as Folk’s Michele Clunie, newscaster Thomas Roberts, Mob Wives’ stars Angela “Big Ang” Raiola and Renee Graziano, and Phantom of the Opera stars Kyle Barisich and Trista Moldovan (who serenaded the crowd with a number from the show) and Point Honors recipients and alumni.

There was some big news at the gala as well: Wells Fargo, a presenting sponsor, announced it was pledging $1.5 million dollars toward ten Point Honors scholarships in the new year. And Focus Features’ James Schamus and Andrew Karpen, who took home the Point Inspiration Award, broke the news that they were endowing a special Point Honors scholarship with parent company NBC Universal, specifically for students interested in television, film or broadcast journalism.