The T.J. Martell Foundation — which funds research for cancer, leukemia and AIDS treatment — was started as a music industry organization, and its board reads like a who’s-who of Gothambased label execs. So it’s appropriate that the org would stick to a New York-centric approach for its inaugural Women of Influence Honors and Luncheon.
Scheduled for May 7, the event will be held at Tom Colicchio’s Riverpark restaurant, and features a silent auction and a performance from Grammy-nominated chanteuse Elle Varner. The inaugural slate of honorees includes Marcie Allen, founder of music marketing agency MAC Presents; American Airlines’ director of sales, promotions and community relations Joann Camuti; radiologist and author Margaret I. Cuomo; longtime syndicated columnist Liz Smith; and ABC news anchor Lori Stokes.
According to the foundation’s CEO, Laura Heatherly, the honorees were chosen for their ability to balance career success, home life and health.
“We wanted somebody that was really a leader in their area of business, and focuses on giving back to the community, and healthy living and lifestyle,” she says.
Allen was a particularly obvious choice, Heatherly says, especially considering her recent work adopting a street in the Rockaways after superstorm Sandy. Allen and her team were present on the street everyday, raising money, buying supplies, and delivering food to stricken residents.
“To me, that is a woman of influence, because she got a lot of people to jump on the bandwagon and go out there and help people,” Heatherly says of Allen. “A lot of times when you have big disasters, people will call in big organizations, but it sometimes takes individuals to go and do these sorts of things, to see what people need and get them help immediately.”
Additionally, Cuomo, who recently authored a book titled, “A World Without Cancer,” will deliver a keynote speech on cancer prevention, and Michael Bush, who designed Michael Jackson’s onstage wardrobes for decades, will create a hat from pieces of the star’s old costumes for auction.
Proceeds from the event will go toward breast cancer research at Gotham’s Mount Sinai Hospital and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.