Photo of Emily Gordon, PhD, Kristy Bell, David Martin, and Rick Myers, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer
19 Sep 2023

Family History: Rosie’s Mexican Cantina Renews Support for Tie The Ribbons For 9th Year

Driven by owner David Martin’s close connection to breast and ovarian cancer, Rosie’s Mexican Cantina has been a supporter of the HudsonAlpha Foundation’s annual Tie The Ribbons luncheon for nine years

By Lillie Mermoud


Rosie’s Mexican Cantina has been a steadfast Presenting Sponsor of the HudsonAlpha Foundation’s annual Tie The Ribbons luncheon, a fundraiser benefiting HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology’s breast and ovarian cancer program, for nine years. 

Owner David Martin is the businessman behind several Huntsville culinary legends, such as Rosie’s Mexican Cantina, Little Rosie’s, Steak-Out, Shaggy’s Burgers and Tacos, Walton’s Southern Table and Ted’s Bar-B-Q.

A passionate supporter of the Huntsville community personally and through his corporate giving, David knew Tie The Ribbons was a cause he would support long-term as soon as he learned about the fundraiser. Breast and ovarian cancer have hit very close – he lost his grandmother to ovarian cancer and his mother is a breast cancer survivor.

“When I learned about Tie the Ribbons, it was an easy decision, Rosie’s has been honored to be part of the fundraiser every year since then,” said Martin.

Support from Rosie’s Mexican Cantina fuels scientific advancement in HudsonAlpha’s breast and ovarian cancer research program, led by Sara Cooper, PhD, Faculty Investigator, and provides critical resources needed to drive the Information is Power initiative for cancer risk genetic testing. 

David Martin shares about what supporting Tie The Ribbons means to him as a business owner and as someone who has been closely affected by breast and ovarian cancer.


HudsonAlpha Foundation: When you choose a nonprofit to support as a business owner, what’s important to you? How does Tie The Ribbons align with that?

David Martin: We seek charitable causes that are special to us and that reflect our mission. The number of lives that are touched by HudsonAlpha’s cancer research and by Information is Power in North Alabama, our country, and around the world is incredible!


HAF: Can you share more about what has inspired you to support Tie The Ribbons for so many years?

DM: Tie The Ribbons means a lot to me because of my family history with my mother and grandmother. When I realized that the Information is Power program is about helping people learn their odds of getting cancer so they can be proactive about their health, it made me understand the broad impact this program has. Prevention and early detection is the name of the game, and that kind of information is a life-saver.


HAF: How do you think HudsonAlpha is different from other organizations working to fight breast cancer?

DM: The fact that it’s a nonprofit that partners with for-profit companies, like Kailos who runs the genetic tests for Information is Power, is unique for research institutes. Complicated science can be broken down into simple parts through information exchanges like this. 


HAF: What is something you’d like to see your support of HudsonAlpha’s breast and ovarian cancer program accomplish?

DM: I’d like to see more and more people get tested through Information is Power. It’s important to keep getting the message out and increasing availability for testing across the state. On the research side, HudsonAlpha has such a broad impact. I am amazed by the work done for breast and ovarian cancer, as well as by the work on neurological diseases and in agricultural science. Again, I am in awe of the number of lives that are impacted by what HudsonAlpha does.


HAF: For any corporate donors who are considering supporting Tie The Ribbons, what would you say to them?

DM: We are fortunate to have this research happening in North Alabama. The return on your gift is immeasurable.

For more than ten years, Tie The Ribbons has hosted a sold-out crowd to support HudsonAlpha’s breast and ovarian cancer program. The 2023 Tie The Ribbons luncheon, presented by Rosie’s Mexican Cantina, will be held on October 12 at 11:30 a.m. in the Saturn Ballroom of the Von Braun Center. This year, we will be joined by special guest speaker, Dr. Mary-Claire King, the scientist who discovered the BRCA1 gene. Tickets and tables are available for purchase online until October 5.