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.
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.
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.
amfAR Trustee Regan Hofmann and Miss Universe, Leila Lopes, with
generationCURE committee members John Cafarelli, Dan Dias, and Phillip
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
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.
generationCURE co-founders Dan Dias and John Cafarelli
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.