amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

generationCURE Gets Young Professionals Involved With amfAR

 Generation Cure Logo 

“I dream of the day when I wake up in the morning, pick up The New York Times, and on the cover it says: “Cure for HIV Is Found,” says John Cafarelli.  “I truly believe it is going to happen in my lifetime.”  As co-founders of generationCURE, a young professionals organization aimed at bringing in a fresh stream of support for amfAR, Cafarelli and Dan Dias are doing their part to bring this dream to fruition.   

Dias first became involved with amfAR eight years ago, when his status as a guest star on the MTV reality series Road Rules earned him an invitation to an amfAR event as a celebrity guest.  Roughly a year ago, he came up with the idea of adding to amfAR’s support base by starting generationCURE.  He got Cafarelli on board, and amfAR staff loved the idea.  

Dias and Cafarelli are themselves successful, young professionals.   Cafarelli works in private equity and Dias is an investment banker.  Their vast network of connections has helped them create a buzz about generationCURE.  However, they admit that starting an organization aimed at young professionals has been more difficult than they initially expected.   

 Generation Cure Group 
amfAR Trustee Regan Hofmann and Miss Universe, Leila Lopes, with generationCURE committee members John Cafarelli, Dan Dias, and Phillip Gutman 

“Young professionals are making a life for themselves, and it’s harder for them to donate or attend events because that $100, $150, or whatever people would bid in an auction goes a lot further for our generation than it does for a more senior group of individuals,” says Dias.   Cafarelli compares the process of starting a new organization to building a business.  The aim, he explains, is to cultivate supporters so that one day one of them is the next million-dollar donor for amfAR.  

They have set high, but attainable goals for the organization.  They plan to raise $120,000 to fund a new cure-focused research project; expand amfAR’s social networks and harness the power of social media; and increase HIV awareness by fighting complacency and ignorance among young people.  

 Dan-and-John
 generationCURE co-founders Dan Dias and John Cafarelli 

So far, it seems that they are well on their way.  Less than a year old, generationCURE has already raised more than $25,000 through events like Solstice, a party held earlier this summer at Hôtel Americano, a hot boutique hotel in New York City.  They hope to use the momentum created by that event to make their next event, potentially a masquerade party this October, even bigger.  Look for details this fall.