Sharon Stone became emotional during a speech at the AIDS Monument Groundbreaking in West Hollywood.
The 63-year-old star was among the celebrities, guests and speakers who attended the event, which took place Saturday at the Pacific Design Center.
“And while we’re here in our little bush making this memorial,” Stone said.
A committed advocate: Sharon Stone got emotional during her speech at the AIDS Monument Groundbreaking in West Hollywood
“This is a global moment. As we stood here fighting hand in hand,” she continued, before pausing to take a deep breath.
“44 million people died on our watch,” Sharon ended visibly in tears.
Stone is a passionate advocate for AIDS research. She has been the Global Chair of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (aMFAR) for 20 years. The organization’s website has a special page to highlight its work.
Part of the page reads: ‘Since she accepted an important volunteer position at amfAR, Ms Stone has traveled extensively on behalf of the Foundation. In each of her many public appearances, she has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS as a threat to social and economic stability and to underline the urgent need for continued research into AIDS.
‘One of her biggest concerns is the growing number of HIV infections 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 safer sex, makes her one of amfAR’s most effective spokespersons.’
Solidarity: Stone also posed with U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), who is also an advocate for AIDS research, and Jeanne White-Ginder, the mother of Ryan White, a teenager who died of AIDS in 1990
aMFar’s page praised Sharon for the contributions she has made to the foundation’s fundraising efforts. “Since first chairing amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS event at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998, her dynamic presence and compelling auctioneer skills have been indispensable elements in many highly successful amfAR benefits.
“At the 2014 Cinema Against AIDS event, she helped raise a record $35 million in one night.”
The website also noted that Sharon has received numerous prestigious awards and accolades for her work in the fight to end AIDS.
Ready to break ground: At the event, the Basic Instinct actress donned a helmet and held a shovel as she posed for a photo with Irwin Rappaport, Phill Wilson and Jeanne White-Ginder
At the event, the Basic Instinct actress donned a helmet and held a shovel as she posed for a photo with Irwin Rappaport, Phill Wilson and Jeanne White-Ginder.
Rappaport is a retired entertainment attorney and chairman of the board of the Foundation for the AIDS Memorial.
Wilson, a prominent AIDS activist, founded the Black AIDS Institute in 1999 after his partner died of an HIV-related illness.
White-Ginder is the mother of Ryan White, who contracted HIV through an infected blood transfusion. The 13-year-old was later banned from returning to his school. He became the national banner of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and an activist who fought to end the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS before his death in 1990.
Commitment: Stone is a passionate advocate for AIDS research
Taking Action: For 20 years, she held the Global Chair of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (aMFAR). The organization’s website has a special page to highlight its work
Honoring her work: aMFar’s page praised Sharon for the contributions she has made to the foundation’s fundraising efforts. Pictured here with Rogerio Carvaheiro, an architect of the monument
The Oscar winner also posed with US Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), who is also an advocate for AIDS research.
Billy Porter, Whoopi Goldberg, Wilson Cruz, Cheyenne Jackson, Richard Gere, and Sterling K. Brown participated in readings for an audio component on the memorial’s website called “Hear Our Stories.”
Based on stories from The AIDS Memorial’s Instagram page, the readings told the stories of several people who died of AIDS.
Tragic: During the event, Sharon said: ‘While we stood here fighting hand in hand, 44 million people died on our watch’
Officially titled Stories: The AIDS Monument, the monument will be located next to West Hollywood Park on San Vicente Boulevard. The $7,000-square-foot facility will open in 2022.
Prior to the event, the Casino actress shot a video at home in which she thanked those who had joined her in the fight against AIDS.
“As I go, I want you to know how much I think of all of you who have stayed with me, with us, with all of us AIDS workers as we fought and really won this fight against HIV/AIDS,” Stone said.
Grateful: Prior to the event, Sharon recorded a video at home thanking those who had joined her in the fight against AIDS