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 amfAR’s Global Campaign Chair. In 1998, as the end of her term neared, Ms. Stone renewed her support of amfAR’s vital 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 widely 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. 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.
As Global Campaign Chair for 20 years, Stone has been an enthusiastic fundraiser and has chaired amfAR events all over the world including Dubai, Milan, Mumbai, São Paolo, New York and Los Angeles. Since first chairing amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS event during the Cannes Film Festival in 1998, her dynamic presence and captivating skills as an auctioneer have been the indispensable elements in a numerous highly successful amfAR benefits. At the 2014 Cinema Against AIDS event, she helped raise a record $35 million in a single evening.
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 more than $3 million for amfAR.
Ms. Stone has received numerous accolades and honors for her philanthropic work. In 1999 she was honored by amfAR at its Seasons of Hope gala, and the AIDS Awareness Committee of Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented her with a Ribbon of Hope award for AIDS awareness and education. She has received the Humanitarian Award from the Human Rights Campaign and a Spirit Award from the National Centre for Lesbian Rights for her support of gay and lesbian civil rights.
In 2005, Sharon was honored with the prestigious Harvard Humanitarian Award to celebrate her ten years as an advocate for AIDS research. At the Women’s World Awards In 2006, Sharon's philanthropic efforts were recognized by Mikhail Gorbachev with the World Charity Award. The following year, she was awarded the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award, which is given to those who embody the fighting spirit of Ali in the race to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
In 2008 Ms. Stone was made an honorary guest at the Karolinska-Nobel Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. She presented a lecture on Health initiatives for peace for members of the Nobel Committee, students and faculty of the Karolinska-Nobel Institute at the Nobel Forum. And in 2013 she was honored by the Nobel Peace Laureates at the Nobel Summit in Warsaw, Poland, with the “Peace Summit Award” for her work on HIV/AIDS. The award was presented by his holiness the Dalai Lama.
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.