Global Campaign Chair
At the United Nations on World AIDS Day 1995, Sharon Stone announced at a press conference that she had accepted an invitation to serve for three years as Chairman of amfAR’s Campaign for AIDS Research.
Sharon Stone visits HIV-infected children on World AIDS Day 1999
In 1998, as the end of her term neared, Ms. Stone renewed her support of amfAR’s vital, innovative research programs by vowing to continue as Global Campaign Chair until a safe and effective AIDS vaccine is developed.
Known internationally for a variety of high-impact film roles, Ms. Stone began her career as a model in New York and quickly moved to starring roles in movies, winning a Golden Globe for “Best Actress” in 1996 and an Academy Award nomination for her role in Martin Scorsese’s Casino. Ms. Stone’s extraordinary commitment to the fight against AIDS and to amfAR’s cutting-edge work was spurred by the death of her friend and acting coach Roy London. “I feel lucky that his life touched mine. I especially miss Roy; his memory is an enduring reminder that heartache can be transformed into action, which in turn brings hope and, ultimately, life.”
Since accepting a key volunteer position with amfAR, Ms. Stone has traveled nationally and internationally on behalf of the Foundation. At each of her many public appearances, she has worked tirelessly to heighten awareness of HIV/AIDS as a threat to social and economic stability and to underscore the urgent need for continued AIDS research. One of her main concerns is the growing HIV infection rate among adolescents and young people. “The complacency today is mind-boggling,” she says, “especially among young people who continue to have unprotected sex. It is so vital for us here at amfAR to drive the message home with these kids. They are playing Russian roulette with their lives.” Ms. Stone’s willingness to speak out on sometimes controversial topics, such as making condoms available to teenagers and teaching the practice of safer sex, makes her one of amfAR’s most effective spokespeople.
Ms. Stone has also been an enthusiastic fund raiser. Her dynamic presence and captivating skills as an auctioneer have been the indispensable elements in a number of highly successful amfAR benefits. Several notable events hosted by Ms. Stone have set fund-raising records for the Foundation. At amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS 1998 event at the Cannes Film Festival, Ms. Stone artfully raised the bidding for an impromptu Elton John / Ringo Starr performance of “Great Balls of Fire” by offering to dance as they played. Video clips of her performance ignited television news programs worldwide, and the event raised over $1.2 million. This success was followed later that year by amfAR’s Seasons of Hope event, at which Ms. Stone as emcee and host joined the Foundation in paying tribute to Clive Davis, Tom Hanks, and Barbara Walters for their contributions to the fight against AIDS. This gala raised $2 million for amfAR’s AIDS research programs. Ms. Stone herself was honored at Seasons of Hope 1999 for her outstanding contributions to the Foundation. In 2002, Ms. Stone returned to Cannes to serve once again as auctioneer for Cinema Against AIDS. She helped amfAR raise a record $1.5 million. At the 2004 Cinema Against AIDS Cannes, Ms. Stone outdid herself again, helping to raise over $2 million.
Ms. Stone has twice served as host and auctioneer at amfAR’s Two by Two for AIDS and Art auction in Dallas, helping to raise nearly $2 million for AIDS research. In May 2000, she participated in an art auction for Phillips Auction House that raised $1.2 million, and in August 2000, Ms. Stone served as host and auctioneer at Cinema Against AIDS Venice at the Venice Film Festival, where she helped raise over $500,000 and launched a special line of vanity cases she personally designed for the luxury brand Louis Vuitton. Sales of these exceptional cases have generated nearly $3 million for amfAR.
Through personal appearances, benefit premieres of her movies, and other special events, Ms. Stone has directly helped amfAR raise major contributions from many corporations and thousands of individuals. Her affiliation with amfAR has opened doors and broadened the Foundation’s access to urgently needed research dollars. And, unquestionably, the media attention she brings to amfAR and its mission has greatly increased the public’s awareness of HIV/AIDS and the devastation it wreaks. Time and again, in both words and actions, Sharon Stone has demonstrated her steadfast commitment to the fight against AIDS and to amfAR’s mission. The Foundation is proud of its association with Ms. Stone and deeply grateful for her dedication and hard work.