Photos Courtesy of Getty Images for Women’s Cancer Research Fund
Sharon Stone made an unforgettable speech—and emotional fundraising plea for The Women’s Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)—when gala chair and WCRF co-founder Jamie Tisch honored her with the Courage Award at An Unforgettable Evening, held on March 16 at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel.
"The mammogram machines that your taxpayer dollars pay for don't work if you don't walk up and put your breast up in that machine and let them slam that thing down," Stone said emphatically, after discussing the importance of clinical trials. "What I do is I get four or five of my friends, and we plan a day, and we all do it together and then we go out for lunch or dinner, and we get a bit hammered, because let me tell you... those mammograms are not fun!
"And for someone like me that was told that I had breast cancer, because I had a tumor that was larger than my breast, and they were sure that I couldn't possibly have that tumor without it being cancer—it wasn't. But I went into the hosptial saying, 'if you open me up and it's cancer, please take both my breasts, because I am not a person defined by my breasts.' And that might seem funny coming from me, since you've all seen them," she said, scoring a laugh in the midst of the emotional moment. "And let me tell you something else—you've seen them since the surgery, and you don't know it! So don't ever feel compelled not to get a mammogram, not to get a blood test, not to get surgery, because it doesn't matter. I'm standing here telling you I had one and a half and more tissue of my breast removed, and none of you knew it."
Stone addresses the crowd
Stone, a breast cancer supporter, then implored guests to open their checkbooks. "I want you to have courage," she said, growing tearful. "All that money you gave, it's not enough. You know, your shoes cost more than you gave, and you know it... and I'm telling you what. My friends are worth more than you gave, and you know it." She then got even more personal: "I know what's happening. I just lost half my money to this banking thing, and that doesn't mean that I'm not here. My brother just died, and that doesn't mean that I'm not here. This is not an easy time, for any of us. This is a hard time in the world. But I'm telling you what... I'm not having some politician tell me what I can and cannot do, how I can and cannot live, and what the value of my life is and is not. So stand up. Stand up and say what you're worth. I dare you. That's what courage is."
Jamie Tisch, Steve Tisch and Zachary Tisch
Rita Wilson & Tom Hanks and Kate Capshaw & Steven Spielberg served as honorary chairs of the starry gala, alongside chairs Tisch and Quinn Ezralow, and co-chairs Kris Levine, NJ Falk, Danielle Lauder, Kelly Chapman Meyer and Steve Tisch. Following a few-year absence, the event united supporters and notables including Anastasia Soare, Behati Prinsloo, Bella Giannulli, Chord Overstreet, Cynthia Bailey, Derek Blasberg, Elizabeth Gilpin, Gela Nash, Halston Sage, Harry Hamlin, John Taylor, Jonetta Kaiser, Julianne Hough, Kathy Hilton, Kim Petras, Liana Liberato, Lisa Rinna, Megan Blake Irwin, Natasha Bassett, Nia Vardalos, Nicky Whelan, Olivia Jade, Paul Wesley, Rachel Zoe and Will Ropp.
Following a three-course meal of smoked salmon carpaccio, chicken breast and strawberry meringue, Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson and philanthropist Richard J Stephenson received the Unsung Hero Award, presented by Maria Bello and Dominique Crenn. Then Rebel Wilson brought out Grammy Award-winning band Maroon 5, who brought the guests to their feet with a spirited performance of hits “This Love,” “Moves Like Jagger,” “She Will Be Loved” and a cover of Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight.” Stone's passionate appeal resonated, and the evening raised over $2 million to benefit the WCRF, a program of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)—proving the most unforgettable part of it all.
Maroon 5 closes the night
Photography by: Photos courtesy of Getty Images for Women’s Cancer Research Fund