Musicians are often a generous lot. Just think of the charity singles “We Are the World” and “Do They Know It’s Christmas” as well as the massively popular concerts Farm Aid, Band Aid, and Live Aid to name but a few. One organization that’s been using the power of music — and music fandom — to help generate funds for good causes, is the T.J. Martell Foundation. Devoted to battling cancer for decades, the organization has currently raised over $280 million for research at such esteemed hospitals as Mount Sinai Medical Center and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center among others. Just in time for #GivingTuesday, T.J. Martell CEO Laura Heatherly shares the details about one of their current campaigns which, since it’s online, is open to everyone.
Q: On Dec. 18, Ed Roland’s Winter Wonder Bash has some impressive talent: Better Than Ezra‘s Kevin Griffin and Tonic‘s Emerson Hart. What else do you have coming up for those who can’t make it to Atlanta’s Buckhead Theatre?
A: The T.J. Martell Foundation does fundraising all year long. For the holiday season, we are encouraging people to check out our GuitarTown Kids auction on CharityBuzz and bid on guitars to help kids with cancer.
Q: What can you tell us about this campaign?
A: GuitarTown Kids, a celebrity art guitar auction event, has officially launched on CharityBuzz.com to benefit the T.J. Martell Foundation’s pediatric cancer research at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Celebrities from television, music and sports have all put their special touches on a series of one-of-a-kind painted Gibson guitars designed and painted by local artists who interpreted various ideas on to the canvas — in this case the actual guitar. Singer-songwriter and actress Selena Gomez, all of the coaches from the hit show The Voice including Blake Shelton, Jennifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus, and Adam Levine, late night hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O’Brien, country music superstar Brett Eldredge, New England Patriot’s Rob Gronkowski, One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson, All American Rejects… From a guitar painted to mimic Conan O’Brien’s famous red hair to another featuring the Hollywood landscape, each guitar is signed by the artist and a beautiful piece of art.
Q: Where would you direct someone looking to get involved with T.J. Martell on #GivingTuesday?
A: We would love for people to donate in honor or memory of a loved one who’s battled cancer so that we can continue our life-saving cancer research programs at leading hospitals across the country.
Photo Credit: Late Night Talk Guitar with Autograph by Conan O’Brien and LaLa Land guitar by Michelle Kyle courtesy of TJ Martell.
PS. Want to learn about another cool music organization that raises money for good causes? Check out our interview with Spare The Rock founder Bill Childs.