Brooks and Dunn to be recognized at Honors Gala March 22

Honors Gala raised over $400,000 last year

Business and music industry leaders and celebrities will gather to celebrate the T.J. Martell Foundation Honors Gala on Monday, March 22.

In Nashville, the Foundation annually supports cancer research through the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, in honor of Frances Preston, national President of the T.J. Martell Foundation and former President and CEO of BMI.  Last year¹s Gala raised event raised over $400,000 to benefit cancer, leukemia and AIDS research.

Along with supporting this very worthwhile cause, the Gala will recognize Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, the Honorable William H. Frist, M.D., country music’s Brooks and Dunn, Michael Bolton and Susan Simons for their humanitarian efforts.

The Honors Gala, which will be held at the Hutton Hotel, is an invitation-only black tie event beginning at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception and an impressive silent and live auction.  The festivities will continue at 7:30 p.m. when dinner is served and the ceremony gets underway.

Entertainment will include the Fisk University Jubilee Singers, Dave Mason and others yet to be announced.  The Honors Gala is also known for its marquee presenters, which this year features Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Ross Perot, Jr., Pete Coors and Frances Williams Preston.

Even though this is our second year putting on the Honors Gala for the Martell Foundation, it is arguably one of the biggest nights in Nashville,” said Laura Heatherly, executive director of the Nashville branch of the T.J. Martell Foundation.  “We are extremely grateful host such a wonderful event and honor five outstanding individuals, all in the name of benefiting the research at the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.”

Governor Bredesen will receive this year¹s Lifetime Humanitarian Award. Bredesen has been gracious with his support of numerous causes, including Nashville¹s Table, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Cover Tennessee, the Heritage Conservation Trust Fund, the Land Trust for Tennessee and the Governor¹s Books from Birth Foundation.

The Lifetime Medical Achievement Award will go to Senator Frist.  Along with establishing the Vanderbilt Multi-Organ Transplant Center, Senator Frist is known for his dedication to medical missions in developing nations by his work with Hope Through Healing Hands, the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the ONE campaign, which promotes global health as a currency for peace around the world.

Country superstars Brooks and Dunn will receive the Tony Martell Lifetime Entertainment Achievement Award.  After spending 20 years together, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn announced they will be going separate ways following their 2010 tour, aptly named The Last Rodeo.  Thanks to 23 chart-topping singles during their iconic career, the two are leaving on top as the best-selling duo in country music history.

The inaugural Frances Williams Preston Lifetime Music Industry Award, which recognizes lifetime commitment of outstanding endeavors as a musician, will go to Bolton.  Besides playing to sold out arenas worldwide, Bolton has sold over 53 millions albums and won two Grammys for Best Male Vocalist and six American Music Awards.

Born and raised in Nashville, Simons will be honored with the Spirit of Nashville Award for her years of charitable service to Middle Tennessee. Simons has associated herself with Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Alive Hospice, the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts, the Metropolitan Convention Center Commission, the Community Foundation, the Tennessee State Museum Foundation, United Way, and the International Women’s Forum, to name a few.

Table sponsorships range from $10,000 to $100,000.  Individual tickets are at $1,000 and $500 levels.  Ads honoring the honorees may also be purchased in the commemorative journal.   For more information on the Honors Gala log onto


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