Yoko Ono Presents Hamish Dodds with Spirit of Excellence Award for Hard Rock International at T.J. Martell Foundation New York Honors Gala

New York, New York – (October 21, 2014) – The T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research has announced legendary music icon Yoko Ono Lennon as the presenter for the Spirit of Excellence Award which will be awarded to Hard Rock International.  The award will be accepted by Hamish Dodds, CEO of Hard Rock International at the 39th T.J. Martell Foundation New York Honors Gala to be held at Cipriani in New York on Tuesday, October 21, 2014. 


Hard Rock is a company that works every day in pursuit of the philosophy LOVE ALL – SERVE ALL®, a philosophy that has been part of the brand’s DNA since the first cafe opened its doors in London, England in 1971. Hard Rock encourages and supports local community outreach, as well as annual system-wide corporate initiatives that benefit local and global communities. The wide range of philanthropic causes supported globally is directly tied to the brand mottos – TAKE TIME TO BE KIND; SAVE THE PLANET and ALL IS ONE®. 

Yoko Ono Lennon annually collaborates with Hard Rock and charity partner WhyHunger for the “IMAGINE THERE’S NO HUNGER” campaign, now in its seventh year. “IMAGINE” funding has supported 33 local partners in 20 countries to provide 9.7 million nutritious meals to children since 2008, and continues to raise funds to globally fight childhood hunger and poverty through the support of sustainable agriculture education and nutritional feeding programs.

Hamish Dodds, president and CEO of Hard Rock International will be accepting the Spirit of Excellence Award on behalf of Hard Rockers worldwide, both past and present, who have made Hard Rock what it is today.  This award represents the work of an outstanding network of truly passionate, joyful and irreverent philanthropic rockers. 

At Hard Rock, the philanthropic goal is to generate awareness, raise necessary funds and educate guests on pressing issues related to charitable programs and causes. Hard Rock believes that positive change IS possible.  Through a unique global platform of cafes, hotels and casinos reaching 58 countries around the world, Hard Rock engages passionate guests, a world-class roster of “Artist Ambassadors” and an incredible team of Hard Rockers to help make the world a better place for those in need and ultimately for us all.

Many charities have benefited from Hard Rock donations – in the form of dollars, food and beverage, merchandise and man hours – including WhyHunger, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, Amnesty International, Peace Games, The American Red Cross, the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program, Fundación Pies Descalzos, Music Rising, Global Angels, Musicians On Call, City of Hope the September 11 Relief Efforts, Elton John AIDS Foundation, Music Assistance Program (MAP), Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust, Give Kids The World, American Cancer Society, and T.J. Martell Foundation, to name a few.  

Also being honored at this year’s T.J.  Martell Foundation’s 39th New York Honors Gala are John Paul DeJoria, Co-Founder of Paul Mitchell Hair Products and Patron Spirits Company, Will Botwin, President and CEO of Red Light Management, Afo Verde, Chairman and CEO Sony Latin Music and Marsha Vlasic, Senior VP of Concerts-Head of Contemporary Rock, ICM.

“We are honored to have Yoko Ono Lennon as a presenter at this year’s Honors Gala to present the Spirit of Excellence Award to Hamish Dodds and Hard Rock International,” said Laura Heatherly, CEO of The T.J. Martell Foundation.  “Hard Rock’s philosophy on philanthropy and its efforts globally to support various charitable organizations is outstanding. Our mutual histories within the music industry will most definitely play a big role in future programs that we hope to collaborate on.” 

Past honorees have included Former President George W. Bush and former President William J. Clinton, Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, Anne Curry, Al Roker, Clive Davis, Arnold Palmer, Del Bryant, Scott Borchetta, Clarence Avant, Berry Gordy, Quincy Jones, the late Gil Freisen, Irving Azoff, Russell Simmons, Monte & Avery Lipman, Bruce Lundvall, John Esposito, Joel Katz, John Sykes, Brandon Steiner, Jennifer Breithaupt, the Target Corporation and the late Frances William Preston and the late Ahmet Ertegun. 


The T.J. Martell Foundation is the music industry’s largest foundation that funds innovative medical research focused on finding cures for leukemia, cancer and AIDS.  The Foundation, headquartered in New York, is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization that 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. The Foundation has provided more than $260 million dollars for research that supports top hospitals in the United States. For more information log on to www.tjmartell.org, www.facebook.com/tjmartellfoundation, www.twitter.com/tjmartell, www.pinterest.com/tjmartellfndn

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