Mindy Kaling is known for bringing the laughs, not tears, but when she accepted an award at Girls Inc.’s 18th annual fund-raising luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel last Wednesday, her eyes were wet. “I am basically weeping, and so early in the morning!” said the star.
Kaling—along with fellow honorees Bonnie Hammer (Chairman of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment), Anne Sweeney (President of Disney/ABC Television Group), and Giselle Fernandez (journalist, Latina activist, and host of Los Angeles magazine’s own Big Shots video series)—was recognized by the non-profit for inspiring girls to be “strong, smart, and bold.” Philanthropist Cheryl Saban, NBC Universal president of Entertainment Jennifer Salke, and president of CBS Entertainment Nina Tassler chaired the luncheon.
While the well-heeled crowd that filled the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom munched on salad with vegetables and chicken and wrote out checks to Girls Inc., young alumni from the program spoke about the ways in which the organization helped them realize their dreams. By the end of the event, Kaling wasn’t the only one crying—or screaming, for that matter. Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson, who hosted the event, announced the day’s fund-raising total—more than $586,000—with a yelp.