Brad Paisley / Charlie Daniels / Frankie Ballard / George Strait / Kelsea Ballerini / Kenny Chesney

9th Annual T.J. Martell Foundation Nashville Honors Gala Raises $535K for Medical Research

Front row L to R: Co-chair Ali Harnell; honorees Rod Essig, Janet Miller, Dr. Joseph Smith, Scott Hamilton and Louis Messina; Co-chair Danielle Bouharoun and Kimberly Williams Paisley; Back row L to R: Shawn Parr, Clare Bowen, Frankie Ballard, Charles Esten, Tommy Shaw, John Huie, Kelsea Ballerini, Charlie Daniels, George Strait, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, Will Evankovich, Joel Katz, Storme Warren, Tracie Hamilton, Brad Paisley and the T.J. Martell Foundation’s Laura Heatherly attend the 9th Annual Nashville Honors Gala at Omni Hotel on February 27, 2017 (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for T.J. Martell Foundation)


The T.J. Martell Foundation raised $535,000 to benefit leukemia, cancer and AIDS research at tonight’s 9th Annual Nashville Honors Gala, for a total of over $3 million raised since 2009. Honorees were treated to performances by George Strait, Brad Paisley, Frankie Ballard, Clare Bowen, Kelsea Ballerini and Tommy Shaw and special presentations by Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, Charlie Daniels, Kenny Chesney, John Esposito, Joel Katz and John Huie. The Gala also featured a special tribute to the late founder of the T.J. Martell Foundation, Tony Martell.

This year’s honorees were:

  • Janet Miller – Spirit of Nashville Award
  • Dr. Joseph Smith – Medical Research Advancement Award
  • Scott Hamilton – Lifetime Humanitarian Award
  • Rod Essig – Frances Preston Outstanding Music Industry Achievement Award
  • Louis Messina – Tony Martell Lifetime Entertainment Achievement Award

The Nashville Honors Gala is one of the T.J. Martell Foundation’s premier events that pays tribute to outstanding community leaders and presents special musical performances with heartwarming presentations that celebrates the evening’s honorees. In addition to the performances, there was a live and silent auction with proceeds benefiting leukemia, cancer and AIDS research.


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