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Hollywood Foreign Press Association Doles Out $1.5 Million to Dozens of Arts Organizations
Aida Takla O'Reilly, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, speaks at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association annual luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011. The HFPA announced its new officers and directors and presented grants to non-profit organizations and scholarship programs at the luncheon. AP Photo/Matt Sayles.

By: Sandy Cohen, Associated Press


BEVERLY HILLS, CA. (AP).- The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is giving away more than a million dollars. The group behind the Golden Globe Awards presented $1.5 million in grants to dozens of arts organizations at a private luncheon Thursday at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, Taylor Lautner and Lea Michele helped present and accept the gifts, which were given to 46 nonprofit and educational organizations including the American Film Institute, FilmAid International, the New York Stage & Film Company and Ghetto Film School.

Michele said she was "humbled by the generosity" of the international reporters group, then beamed as she introduced and hugged "Twilight" hunk Lautner. He admitted to "blushing up here a little bit" as he accepted a grant on behalf of the Sundance Institute.

Moments earlier, Wahlberg saluted the young actor as a screen successor to himself and DiCaprio.

"He's better looking than you, he's in better shape than me, so we're both out of a job, dude," Wahlberg said after being introduced by DiCaprio. "It's over, dude. 'Titanic' and 'Boogie Nights' was a long time ago."

Wahlberg, whom DiCaprio introduced as "Marky Mark," accepted grants for film programs at six American universities.

Other stars on hand to accept grants at the luncheon included Gerard Butler, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Elizabeth Moss, Hugh Dancy and Japanese musician Yoshiki, who gracefully struggled through his presentation in English.

"For Japanese people, it's so hard to pronounce L and R," the soft-spoken rocker said.

The new officers of the HFPA were also introduced at the annual luncheon.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has given away more than $13 million in grants and scholarships over the past 17 years.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.





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