Nashville, Tenn. (June 17, 2020) — The T.J. Martell Foundation has bestowed the first-ever Sunshine Award to The Palm Restaurant‘s Rae Krenn. Music City’s “hostess with the mostess” was to receive the award in April during the Nashville Comedy Festival, but due to the pandemic, the event was forced to cancel.  

Krenn received her recognition yesterday, June 16, on a Zoom call. During the virtual meet, more than 20 of her community friends “Zoomed-in” for her presentation. Those who showed up to share love for Krenn included former Tennessee Governor Phil BredesenButch SpyridonRod EssigGeorge ArmisteadJamie IsabelMarty Dickens and her son Guy Krenn. The award was presented to Krenn onsite at The Palm by T.J. Martell Foundation board member Ben Jumper. Her daughter Sherrié Austin, husband Alf Krenn, and son-in-law Will Rambeaux were also present to help her celebrate the honor.

“From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank the T.J. Martell Foundation and the man who made all of this happen, my dear friend Mike Smardak,” says Krenn. “I’m deeply honored, humbled and forever grateful to receive an award for doing what I love and loving what I do.” The Sunshine Award is presented to a treasured member of the community who positively makes each day a better day, just by being themselves.

Krenn is known throughout Nashville for her unwavering hospitality, warm demeanor and oftentimes risqué banter. Some refer to Krenn as the “Unofficial Mayor of Nashville” due to the five-foot Aussie knowing everyone in town. She has been the hostess at The Palm, one of Nashville’s most prominent restaurants, for more than 20 years. She has met and befriended everyone from country music greats Charlie Daniels and Blake Shelton to former Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George

“There is nobody more deserving in this town to receive the Sunshine Award than Rae Krenn, who always puts a smile on your face,” notes Mike Smardak, who serves on the T.J. Martell Foundation’s Southern Region Board of Governors.

Born in Sydney, Australia in 1951, Krenn journeyed to the United States in the ’80s when her eldest daughter, Sherrié Austin, landed a role in the hit American TV show “The Facts of Life.” The whole family then moved continents, landing in Los Angeles and eventually migrating to Nashville, Tennessee after the 1994 earthquakes in California. Recently celebrating her 20th anniversary at The Palm, this beloved lady is a friend to all, from locals to tourists, from the janitor, to the governor. 

ABOUT The T.J. Martell Foundation

The T.J. Martell Foundation is the music industry’s leading foundation that funds innovative medical research focused on finding treatments and cures for cancer. The 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. The Foundation has provided more than $280 million for research that supports nine flagship hospitals in the United States. For more information visit

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