The T.J. Martell Foundation has ambitious plans for its 40th anniversary year. The organization announced on Monday that it will hold several high-profile events to raise awareness and funds for leukemia, cancer and AIDs research. Founded by music executive Tony Martell in honor of his son T.J., who died of leukemia at 19, the foundation has raised over $270 million over the years.
In a nod to its four decades of advocacy, the foundation will sport a "Top 40" theme during its T.J. Martell Foundation Annual Honors Gala, taking place in New York City on Oct. 15. Honorees include Janice Min, president and Chief Creative Officer of the Entertainment Group of Guggenheim Media, and John Amato, president of Entertainment Group of Guggenheim Media, the parent company of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. Other honorees include Bruce Bozzi and Wally Ganzi, co-founders of the Palm Restaurant Group; Dinesh Paliwal, president and CEO of Harman International; and menswear designer and burgeoning music executive John Varvatos.
Original MTV VJs Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman and Alan Hunter are hosting the event, being held at Cipriani on Wall Street, where the Foundation will also announce the newly created Clive Davis Research Fellow Award, given to a young cancer or AIDS researcher.
Here are some of the other events and programs as part of the foundation's 40th anniversary:
- "Music to Beat Cancer," a program led by Brian Kaplan, an entertainment attorney who was diagnosed with leukemia in late 2012 but is now in full remission. Kaplan has organized a compilation CD of songs created and written by "iconic recording artists to instill hope, inspiration, positive thinking and happiness for those battling cancer."
- Several auctions will benefit the foundation during its 40th year. In November, it will partner with Julien's Auctions for an event that will feature purses used by famous celebrities. The foundation also plans to auction off artwork by Tim Wakefield, whose "Soundwaves Artworks" use digital sound waves of a musician's music to create original pieces. Finally, the foundation will team with CharityBuzz for the "biggest single online auction" it has ever offered.
- The Women of Influence Awards and Luncheon will take place in New York and Los Angeles, benefiting women's health related issues and treatments. Details and dates for these two events will be announced later.
- Other anniversary programs include the 2nd Annual Chad Brown Memorial Poker Tournament at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on July 2, and various partnerships with Banded headbands and The Hard Rock International to help raise funds for the foundation.
"Our 40th Anniversary year is going to be an ambitious one. We want to bring about excitement and celebration for all of the advancements the Foundation has achieved over the past forty years and we also never want to forget those patients who continue to fight each and every day as they battle their own diagnosis," said Laura Heatherly, CEO of the T.J. Martell Foundation. "The patients, survivors, researchers and supporters I meet continue to profoundly change my life in many ways. Each and every day I am astounded at how many innovative advancements and changes the T.J. Martell Foundation has made for thousands of people around the globe."