Hamptonite Debra Messing was presented an Angel Award at the Project Angel Food Awards Gala on Saturday, August 18. The Will & Grace star has been vocal about standing up for those who don’t have a voice, and has been a longtime supporter of Project Angel Food.
According to Variety, Messing was presented with the Founder’s Award by Will & Grace creators Max Mutchnik and David Kohan. Playful banter between the three was exchanged as the show’s creators mention to the crowd that Messing likes to show up on set in ripped sweatshirts and pajama bottoms.
“There are living angels all over the world working toward an AIDS-free generation, and now that is finally within reach,” Messing said. After receiving her award, the Will & Grace star talked about watching her beloved acting college professor die of AIDS.
“He had very little money and he was declining,” Messing said, “My fellow students between classes and rehearsals cooked meals and delivered them to his apartment. In December of 1993, at age 41, he was gone. It was a devastating loss.”
Project Angel Food is a non-profit organization that started in 1989 to deliver meals to people with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles. Since then it has expanded to anyone with a crippling disease. Since its incarnation, the organization has prepared more than 11 million meals. But, Messing said, “There is still a lot of work to do.”
The Angel Food Awards Gala is Project Angel Food’s premier fundraiser and all proceeds go directly to the organization. The evening began with a performance by the Urban Voices Project, a choir comprising artists and performers from Skid Row.
Messing returns in the second season of NBC’s Will & Grace revival on October 4. David Schwimmer will play Grace’s new love interest.