11th Annual T.J. Martell Foundation Nashville Honors Gala To Salute Outstanding Leaders On February 25, 2019 At The Omni Hotel

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 19, 2018) - The T.J. Martell Foundation for Cancer Research will honor the following community leaders at the 11th Annual T.J. Martell Foundation Nashville Honors Gala at the Omni Hotel on February 25, 2019.

Kings of Leon - Spirit of Nashville Award

Alabama - Tony Martell Lifetime Entertainment Achievement Award

Sally Williams - Frances Preston Outstanding Music Industry Achievement Award

Dr. Kathryn Edwards - Medical Research Advancement Award

Sylvia & Al Ganier - Lifetime Humanitarian Award

The 11th Annual T.J. Martell Nashville Honors Gala is co-chaired by Becky Gardenhire and Diane Pearson. The event has netted more than $3.5 million since its inception in 2009.

Table sponsorships and tickets are available by contacting (615) 256-2002 or emailing tmoffat@tjmartell.org. Visit www.tjmartell.org for more information. 

About the T.J. Martell Foundation:

The T.J. Martell Foundation is the music industry’s leading foundation that funds innovative medical research focused on finding treatments and cures for cancer. The Foundation was founded in 1975 by music industry executive Tony Martell and his colleagues in loving memory of his son T.J., who died of leukemia. The Foundation has provided more than $280 million for research at nine flagship hospitals in the United States. For more information, please visit www.tjmartell.org.

About the Honorees:

Kings of Leon - Spirit of Nashville Award

Since their debut in 2003, Kings of Leon (Caleb (guitar/vocals), Nathan (drums), Jared (bass) and Matthew Followill (guitar)) have released seven albums (Youth & Young Manhood (2003), Aha Shake Heartbreak (2004), Because of the Times (2007), Only by the Night (2008), Come Around Sundown (2010), Mechanical Bull (2013) and WALLS (2016)), and sold over 21 million albums and over 38 million singles worldwide. The multi-platinum selling band has had five singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, all seven of their studio albums on Billboard’s 200 list and five singles that reached #1 on Modern Rock radio. Their seventh album WALLS debuted in October at #1 in the US, UK, Canada, New 
Zealand, Ireland and Austria, and top 3 in more than 10 countries including Germany and Australia. In addition, they have had seven GRAMMY® Nominations, four GRAMMY® Award wins, three NME Awards, two Brit Awards and one Juno Award. They have toured all over the world, selling out top venues and headlining major festivals such as Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and Glastonbury.

Alabama - Tony Martell Lifetime Entertainment Achievement Award

It's been 40 years since a trio of young cousins left Fort Payne, Alabama, to spend the summer playing in a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, bar called The Bowery. It took Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook six long years of tip jars and word of mouth to earn the major label deal they'd been dreaming of.

ALABAMA is the band that changed everything. They reeled off 21 straight #1 singles, a record that will probably never be equaled in any genre. They brought youthful energy, sex appeal and a rocking edge that broadened country's audience and opened the door to self-contained bands from then on, and they undertook a journey that led, 73 million albums later, to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Sally Williams - Frances Preston Outstanding Music Industry Achievement Award

As Senior Vice President of Programming and Artist Relations for Opry Entertainment and General Manager of the Grand Ole Opry, Sally Williams leads a team responsible for all booking, programming, artist relations, artist collaborations and show production across the company's growing portfolio of entertainment assets, among them: Grand Ole Opry, Grand Ole Opry House, Ryman Auditorium, Ole Red Nashville, Ole Red Tishomingo, Ole Red Gatlinburg (opening 2019) and Ole Red Orlando (opening 2020). As General Manager of the Opry, Williams oversees the show’s programming, line-up and member relations. Additionally, she is co-producer, with Tony Award winning production team Fox Theatricals, of “Moonshine –That HeeHaw Musical” which premiered at the Dallas Theatre Center in 2015. From 2008 until 2017, Williams served as the company’s Vice President of Concerts & Entertainment and General Manager of Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. 

Dr. Kathryn Edwards - Medical Research Advancement Award

Dr. Edwards is a professor of pediatrics in the division of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Dr. Edwards is an internationally-recognized expert in vaccinology. A member of the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Edwards is Principal Investigator of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Network. Dr. Edwards received her medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine. She has spent much of her career evaluating the safety and effectiveness of vaccines; and her discoveries impacted the development of vaccines that are now in use for the prevention and treatment of cancer (e.g. HPV vaccine). 

She received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to evaluate influenza vaccine in 3,000 children and adults immunized each year for five years. She also received two grants from the CDC to investigate the safety and effectiveness of routine vaccination in population-based studies in Nashville’s Davidson County. In 1990, Dr. Edwards coordinated and served as principal investigator of an NIH-funded, multi-center study of 13 highly purified acellular pertussis vaccines in over 2,000 infants. She has also received additional NIH funding to evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of various Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccines, Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccines, and vaccines containing multiple antigens. She has investigated avian influenza and malaria vaccine candidates and also completed studies on the burden and etiology pneumonia in hospitalized adults and children. She was a member of the National Academy of Medicine Committee to review the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and is an author on the report entitled, Integrating Clinical Research into Epidemic Response, the Ebola Experience. She has been a frequent advisor for the NIH, CDC, FDA, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and WHO on vaccines and vaccine policy.

Sylvia & Al Ganier - Lifetime Humanitarian Award

Sylvia Harrelson and Al Ganier are the President and CFO of the Green Door Gourmet. They have brought years of farm and restaurant experience as well as a passion for food and education to Nashville, TN. Her background, growing up on a dairy farm in North Carolina, melds with her many years in the restaurant business, including being chef and owner of her former Nashville based establishment, CIBO. Sylvia is passionate about growing delicious, nutritious food and providing patrons a beautiful place to come and experience food, flowers, and farming firsthand.

The Green Door Gourmet is a 350 acre USDA certified organic farm, on-farm market, and agritourism destination in Nashville, Tennessee. Nestled along the Cumberland River, the farm is just minutes from downtown, Green Hills, and the West End corridor! They grow a wide variety of fruits, flowers, vegetables and herbs. Providing their customers, including Local Farm Box participants, local restaurants and florists, with the absolute best direct-from-the-field produce. In addition, the on-farm market offers co-operatively sourced products from the area’s best local producers; including grass fed meats, honey, jams, dairy, baked goods, and much more! The agritourism operation offers the perfect setting for farm weddings, educational field trips, farm-to-table dinners, corporate events, and social occasions.