Dr. Anthony Fauci is being honored with amfAR's Award of Courage at a gala on March 4

By Ale Russian
February 25, 2021 10:07 AM
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Julia Roberts is honoring her "personal hero" Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The Pretty Woman actress will present Fauci with amfAR's Award of Courage at the organization's virtual "A Gala for Our Time" event on March 4. Ahead of the event, PEOPLE has an exclusive first look at Roberts presenting Fauci with the award for his work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There's no one more deserving. You've been tireless and true for all of us and I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart," Roberts says in the video.

"Thank you so much Julia, those are such very kind words, I really do appreciate them. Coming from you, that really means a lot to me," Fauci says before going on to thank the "unsung heroes" also fighting the COVID-19 health crisis.

Glenn Close will also be honored alongside Fauci, with Bette Midler presenting her award. Performers during the event include Kelly Clarkson, Rita Ora and Ava Max.

A Gala for our Time, which will run for approximately 30 minutes, will be free and open to all, with viewers encouraged to donate to the amfAR and its fund to fight COVID-19 (www.amfar.org/gala). 

amfAR, which remains committed to developing a cure for HIV, has temporarily expanded the scope of its work to include research on the coronavirus. The amfAR Fund to Fight COVID-19 is supporting efforts to develop effective treatments.

Each year amfAR presents its Award of Courage to individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to important social and humanitarian causes, particularly to amfAR and the global HIV/AIDS response. Previous recipients of the award include President Bill Clinton, Sir Elton John and David Furnish, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Harry Belafonte, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, and Scarlett Johansson.

Julia Roberts, Anthony Fauci
Credit: amFAR

This isn't the first time Roberts has thanked the man she calls her "personal hero."

Last May, Roberts spoke to Fauci for the #PassTheMic campaign featuring global health, economic and policy experts, frontline workers and celebrities joining together to discuss the need for a global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roberts couldn't contain her excitement at speaking to Fauci before his arrival, saying, "How rad that we have maybe the coolest man on the planet right now. Wow, this is intense."

As Fauci arrived on the video call, the actress visibly gasped and smiled as he sat down.

"Oh, this is such a thrill," Roberts told him. "This is a thrill for me because there are very few experts of anything in the world and you truly have emerged as a personal hero for me. Just to have this little corner of your time for us is such a joy."

amfAR's "A Gala for Our Time" event streams on YouTube on March 4.