Don Henley, Joe Walsh Entertain T.J. Martell Honorees

Annual Event Raises $500,000 for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research

Eagles members Don Henley and Joe Walsh were among a parade of musical headliners taking the stage Monday night (Feb. 29) at Nashville’s Omni Hotel to honor outstanding contributors to the T.J. Martell Foundation, an organization dedicated to cancer, leukemia and AIDS research.

Among the music industry honorees were superstar Kenny Rogers, who won the Tony Martell Lifetime Entertainment Achievement Award, and CMT president Brian Philips, who was presented the Frances Preston Outstanding Music Industry Achievement Award.

In addition to Rogers and Philips, the honorees and their specific trophies were Aubrey Harwell, co-founding partner of Neal and Harwell, Spirit of Nashville Award; Jennifer Pietenpol, director of the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, Medical Research Advancement Award; and the FedEx Corporation, Outstanding Global Citizenship Award.

NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 29: Honorees Kenny Rogers, Aubrey Harwell, Brian Phillips, and Dr. Jennifer Pietenpol gather at the T.J. Martell Foundation 8th Annual Nashville Honors Gala at the Omni Nashville Hotel on February 29, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for T.J. Martell)

Between presentations, the glittering crowd of Martell supporters were entertained by Henley, Walsh, Ronnie Milsap, Chris Young, Jackie Wilson and Nashville star Charles Esten.

NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 29:  Don Henley performs at the T.J. Martell Foundation 8th Annual Nashville Honors Gala at the Omni Nashville Hotel on February 29, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for T.J. Martell) Rick Diamond/Getty Images for T.J. Martell
NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 29:  Joe Walsh peforms at the T.J. Martell Foundation 8th Annual Nashville Honors Gala at the Omni Nashville Hotel on February 29, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for T.J. Martell)
NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 29:  Ronnie Milsap performs onstage at the T.J. Martell Foundation 8th Annual Nashville Honors Gala at the Omni Nashville Hotel on February 29, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for T.J. Martell) Rick Diamond/Getty Images for T.J. Martell
NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 29:  Singer-songwriter Chris Young performs onstage during the T.J. Martell Foundation 8th Annual Nashville Honors Gala at the Omni Nashville Hotel on February 29, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for T.J. Martell) Rick Diamond/Getty Images for T.J. Martell

A Martell spokesman reported that the event raised $500,000, which brought the total to almost $3 million garnered locally for the cause since 2009.

Among those conferring the awards were Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and Big Machine Label Group CEO Scott Borchetta.

The T.J. Martell Foundation is a national organization founded by members of the music industry. Its mission is to fund innovative leukemia, cancer and AIDS research at flagship hospitals throughout the U. S., including the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories at the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville.

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.