Lisa Kudrow, Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young Put Females First at the 2012 WIN Awards in Hollywood

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Lisa Kudrow, Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young Put Females First at the 2012 WIN Awards in Hollywood

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Lisa Kudrow attends the 14th Annual Women's Image Awards in Hollywood on December 12, 2012.

It was a rainy night in Hollywood on December 12, but that didn't stop the stars from coming out for the 14th Annual Women's Image Network (WIN) Awards held at Paramount Pictures studio in the heart of the city.

Celebrating female power is the goal of the organization and the WIN Awards honor both women and men who "promote gender parity through both their creativity and leadership," according to founder Phyllis Stuart.

The fun began at a VIP cocktail reception in the lobby of the beautiful Paramount Theatre, where "The Young and the Restless" stars Genie Francis and Eric Braeden led the crowd that gathered to honor Maria Arena Bell, that show's longtime executive producer and the night's Humanitarian Award nominee. It was Bell that drew Lisa Kudrow to the festivities; the "Web Therapy" star has been "Friends" with Bell for years.

As the show got rolling, Kudrow presented Bell's award while championing her support for the arts. "Art is vital for all human beings to develop," Kudrow reminded the creative crowd.

And the place was teeming with artists of all sorts, from the comedic duo of Melissa Peterman and Bruce Vilanch who hosted the show to fashion designer Tarina Tarantino, acclaimed photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, supermodel-actress Beverly Johnson and musicians Andrea Puente and Salpy Kerkonian who lent class to the proceedings with their harp-flute accompaniments.

"American Idol" favorite Diana DeGarmo belted out a few favorites, too, and keeping it all in the family, her fiancé and fellow "Idol" contestant Ace Young presented a couple of the awards.

"Idol" alumni Katherine McPhee won the Best Actress in a Drama Series for "Smash" and accepted her award from Young via video, while Whitney Cummings did the same for the Comedy prize, which "Flight" hottie Nadine Velazquez announced.

"It's hard to be a strong woman in this business," Cumming admitted, then joked, "but I'm happy to beat out the others for this award!"

Nicole Kidman took the trophy for Best Actress in a Made-for-Television movie for her work in "Hemingway and Gelhorn," but was away in Europe working, so Trish Hoffman, the film's executive producer, joyfully accepted for her. And handsome Christopher McDonald, star of "Boardwalk Empire," also stood in for a winner, as he accepted Susanna White's Best Film/Show Directed by a Woman award for her work on that fine HBO series.

By the time everyone began scurrying to their cars in the evening's downpour, all seemed to agree on one thing, as Phyllis Stuart reminded the crowd. "We're all here to support women and every night like this helps advance social parity for all of us."

More from this contributor:

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