Blog: T.J. Martell Foundation New York Gala
Music industry executive Tony Martell founded the T.J. Martell Foundation in 1975 in memory of his young son who lost his battle with leukemia. Tasked with fundraising for medical research in the fight to cure leukemia, cancer and AIDS, the organization has utilized its long standing relationships in the music industry, leveraging live appearances and performances to the tune of more than $250 million over the past four decades. Tuesday evening, the Foundation’s 39th Annual New York Honors Gala rolled out the red carpet for celebrity guests and entertainers alike inside of the posh Cipriani ballroom space in Midtown.
The evening’s honorees would celebrate co-founder of Paul Mitchell Hair Products and Patron Spirits Company John Paul DeJoria (Lifetime Humanitarian Award), Hamish Dodds President and CEO of Hard Rock International (Spirit of Excellence Award), President and CEO of Red Light Management Will Botwin (Visionary Leadership Award), Chairman and CEO Sony Latin Music Afo Verde (Lifetime Music Industry Achievement Award) and Spirits of Music Award winner Marsha Vlasic, Senior Vice President of Concerts, Head of Contemporary Rock from ICM. Joining the honorees though would be a sea of celebrities saturated by flashbulbs.
Guests like Gabriel Vicentico and Elmer Figueroa Ace joined Yoko Ono, Miss New York Jillian Tapper, Kevin Jonas, Regina Spektor, Ben Harper, as well as Ben Folds and The Band Perry, both of whom would be performing later in the evening, made appearances in front of the photography pit, which became littered with excitable guests hoping for a snapshot of a celebrity in the flesh. The incredible array of live auction items on hand paired with an exceptional dinner and open bar ensured that the success of the T.J. Martell Foundation’s New York Honors Gala was never in question. And as Founder Tony Martell strolled down the red carpet casually chatting with celebrity guests amid a sea of photographers, it’s hard to imagine that the Foundation that he envisioned forty years ago would become the music industry’s premiere nonprofit organization for cancer research, growing to monumental heights over the last four decades.
- Jane Van Arsdale