Yoko Ono and Hammish Dods

Latin Superstar "Chayanne"

Afo Verde and his wife

John Paul DeJoria and his wife

By Mitchell Acks

The fundraiser was very successful where the foundation raised $1.6 million. John Paul DeJoria, Co-founder of Paul Mitchell Hair Products and Patron Spirits Company, was awarded the Lifetime Humanitarian Award from Tony Martell, Founder & CEO of The T.J. Martell Foundation. He helped feed over 17,000 orphaned children through Food4Africa and his company Paul Mitchell provided over 400,000 life-saving meals for the children.

Hamish Dodds, CEO of Hard Rock International, received the Spirit of Excellence Award from Yoko Ono. The Hard Rock provides donations in different ways like money, food and beverage, merchandise and man hours to this and other charities such as: WhyHunger, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, Amnesty International, Peace Games, The American Red Cross, the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program, Fundación Pies Descalzos, Music Rising, Global Angels, Musicians On Call, City of Hope the September 11 Relief Efforts, Elton John AIDS Foundation, Music Assistance Program (MAP), Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust, Give Kids The World, American Cancer Society, and others.

Afo Verde, Chairman & CEO Sony Latin, was given the Lifetime Music Industry Achievement Award from Latin superstar Chayanne and was the first Latin to be awarded by the foundation. He is in charge of 12 regional offices and 20 countries (more than 600 employees report to him region wide). Afo supervises a roster of 500 acts, including such superstars as Shakira, Ricky Martin. Romeo Santos and others. Under his direction Sony's Latin market share grew from 28.4 percent in 2012 to 30.5 percent in 2013 (among albums) and 38.8 percent to 44.6 percent (single downloads).

Will Botwin, President & CEO, Red Light Management, received the Visionary Leadership Award from singer/songwriter Ben Harper.

The Spirit of Music Award was presented to Marsha Vlasic, President, Artist Group International and Hard Rock International by Regina Spektor. Some of her clients are: Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Regina Spektor, Cage The Elephant, Muse, the Strokes, Moby, Band Of Horses, Silversun Pickups, Iggy and the Stooges, Ben Folds, Devendra Barnhart, Julian Casablacas, and Pegi Young. Marsha is a longtime supporter of Young's Bridge School, handles the diverse lineup of top-shelf musicians who perform for the school's annual benefit and is also an advisory board member of the Global Poverty Project.

The T.J. Martell Foundation, was created in 1975 by music industry executive Tony Martell and his colleagues in loving memory of son T.J., who died of leukemia at the age of 19. It was a promise to his dying son that he asked Tony to raise dollars for cancer research so that “no one else will have to experience what he went through.” Tony did it without fund raising experience. Thanks to friends in the music industry like Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, and Duke Ellington they held the first fundraiser at Buddy Rich’s nightclub in New York. The organization is the music industry's largest foundation that funds innovative medical research focused on finding cures for leukemia, cancer and AIDS.

The foundation has provided more than $260 million dollars for research that funds twelve top institutions like Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Harvard School of Public Health, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Columbia Medical Center Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Emory/Winship Cancer Institute, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children/MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando and others.

The organization contributes to important achievements in the research on cancer and AIDS. One example is their support of Through My Cancer Genome at Vanderbilt Ingram Center that is the nation's first personalized cancer decision support tool that provides the physicians with the latest information on discoveries and clinical trials. There will be a new brain tumor tissue bank at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children/MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando. More information about the organization can be found on www.tjmartell.org.


T.J. Martell Foundation 39th Honors Gala

at Cipriani Midtown