Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund Awards Gala Recap
Founded in memory of Ronnie James Dio, the world-renowned voice of Dio, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Heaven & Hell who died of gastric cancer last year, the Dio Cancer Fund has already raised more than $500,000 in its short history.
Additionally, the Fund has committed monies to the gastric cancer research unit of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where Ronnie was treated during the last six months of his life.
Awards named after songs written by Ronnie James Dio were presented to honorees in recognition of their support of the Fund's important work.
The Killing the Dragon Award went to Danny Zelisko, a cancer survivor and President of Phoenix-based Danny Zelisko Presents concert promotions, who remarked that "not a day goes by that I don't miss Ronnie." The King of Rock 'n Roll Award went to Ronnie James Dio's longtime bandmate and friend Terry "Geezer" Butler, bassist for Black Sabbath and Heaven & Hell. Mike Carden, a cancer survivor and President, North America, Eagle Rock Entertainment, a leading independent record label which has released several Dio recordings, accepted the Rainbow in the Dark Award, calling Wendy Dio "the hero of this evening."
In accepting the Sacred Heart Award, television medical expert Sandeep (Sandy) Kapoor, M.D., Medical Director/Co-Founder of the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, spoke poignantly about the need for better ways to screen for cancers and the public's need to demand better access to health care and treatment. "We have to help each other," he said, "'stand up and shout' to stopping cancer before it starts."
Rita Haney, a tireless fund-raiser, Founder of Dimebash in memory of her late husband "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott of the band Pantera, accepted the Stand Up and Shout Award for her continuous contributions to the Dio Cancer Fund. Tony Martell, founder of the T.J. Martell Foundation, which has funded innovative medical research to find cures and treatments for leukemia, cancer and AIDS for nearly 40 years, spoke via videotape from New York. His Man on the Silver Mountain Award was accepted on his behalf by T.J. Martell Foundation CEO Laura Heatherly.
Among the guests in attendance were LA Ink's Kat von D and rockers Slash, Glenn Hughes, Frankie Banali, Keith Emerson, Alex Kane, Marc SUAS Gala invitation frontFerrari and members of the Dio band Rudy Sarzo, Craig Goldy, Scott Warren and Simon Wright as well as record producers Roy Thomas Baker and Mike Fraser and various other celebrities who popped in to show their support.