Celebrities among the business, medical, sports, and entertainment industry, who have helped to raise millions of dollars for cancer and aids research and awareness, were honored Sunday during a star-studded event.
The T.J. Martell Foundation's Honors event has raised more than $250 million since it began over 30 years ago. The funds raised go toward innovative cancer research at 11 top research hospitals in the United States.
In Nashville, the T.J. Martell Foundation funds the Frances Williams Preston laboratories at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
Sunday's invitation-only event was a high-profile affair with a cocktail reception and premiere silent auction.
Actor Chip Esten of ABC's Nashville hosted the event.
"I wanna be a part of this fight against cancer and aids and try to get as much research as we can so I'm happy to be here tonight," Esten explained.
Jeff Bridges, Clare Bowen, Callie Khouri and T-Bone Burnett attended the event, among several others.
The festivities included dinner, an awards presentation, outstanding musical performances and a live auction. Vince Gill was among the performers Sunday night.
Gill told Nashville's News 2 he was happy to be part of the event.
"The simple beauty of how this started, a father lost his son to cancer and his passion and his promise to his son is really quite beautiful," recalled Gill.
The co-chairs for the 2013 event included David Corlew, Blue Hat Records and Charlie Daniels Band, Kitty Moon Emery, KittyMoon Enterprises, and Steve Hauser, WME.
Table sponsorships ranged from $11,500 to $100,000. Individual tickets for the fundraiser were $1,000.
The T.J. Martell 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.
"It's wonderful to be here tonight to celebrate my dear friend T-Bone Burnett. The T.J. Martell foundation is honoring him with a lifetime achievement award and I can't think of anything I'd rather do than celebrate T-Bone's achievements," Bridges told Nashville's News 2.
The Foundation has provided more than $250 million dollars for research at top hospitals in the United States.
The foundation sources and supports early-stage research projects aimed at developing more effective clinical treatments for patients which otherwise might not be funded.
For more information visit the T.J. Martell Foundation Web site.