The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund, founded in memory of the voice of RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH and DIO, is planning a weekend of activities in Los Angeles to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the singer's untimely death from gastric cancer on May 16, 2010. The weekend will include a public memorial service, as well as a celebrity bowling tournament and the inaugural "Ride For Ronnie" motorcycle ride and barbecue, according to Dio Cancer Fund co-founder/president, Wendy Dio.
A free public memorial service will take place at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills on Saturday, May 16 to mark the fifth anniversary of Ronnie's passing. Several former band members and friends who worked with Ronnie over his illustrious career are expected to speak and perform his music.
The weekend will kick off on Friday, May 15 with a celebrity Rock 'N' Bowl tournament at PINZ Bowling Center in Studio City. It will be a fun evening of bowling, entertainment and a silent auction, which will include bowling pins autographed by AEROSMITH, FLEETWOOD MAC, YES, ANTHRAX, METALLICA and many others.
All events lead up to the inaugural "Ride For Ronnie" motorcycle ride and barbecue on Sunday, May 17. Riders will depart from Harley-Davidson of Glendale and ride to Los Encinos Park in Encino, where they will be treated to food, live music, raffle/silent auction and more. Fans who don't ride are welcome to attend just the barbecue! May 15: Rock & Bowl celebrity charity event at Pinz Bowling Center in Studio City, California
May 16: Ronnie James Dio fifth-anniversary memorial service and celebration of Ronnie's music
@ Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, California
May 17: "Ride For Ronnie" motorcycle ride from Glendale Harley Davidson to Los Encinos Park for BBQ and Live Music
Further information on registering for the "Ride For Ronnie" and purchasing tickets for celebrity bowling and the barbecue will be available shortly.
According to Wendy, "Ronnie was a very charitable person, and we used to do a lot of things when Ronnie was alive. And I just have done more since he passed, because I wanted to make something of his passing — something positive to come out of it — and that's how I feel. I feel that life has been good to me, and it's always good to give back and raise money for different causes, and my causes are animals, cancer and veterans." Dio was renowned throughout the world as one of the greatest and most influential vocalists in heavy metal history. The singer, who was recording and touring with SABBATH offshoot HEAVEN & HELL prior to his illness, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in late 2009. He underwent chemotherapy and made what is now his final public appearance in April 2010 at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles. A free public memorial service was held on May 30, 2010 at Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills cemetery in Los Angeles, attended by more than 1,500 fans, friends and fellow musicians. In March 2011, it was announced that the surviving members of the final lineup of DIO would embark on a project with former JUDAS PRIEST frontman Tim "Ripper" Owens under the name DIO DISCIPLES. Rock and metal musicians around the world paid tribute to Dio in the weeks and months following his death. STONE SOUR and SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor shared his feelings with The Pulse Of Radio about the fallen metal icon. "When I got that news that he had passed away, man, it seriously — it broke my heart. It broke it in two. Because honestly, I just feel like there will never be another Ronnie James Dio. He had such a pure voice — and still singing his ass off. I just know he'll be missed, and I will miss him as well." Ex-VAN HALEN and current CHICKENFOOT bassist Michael Anthony also shared his memories of Dio with The Pulse Of Radio. "I don't know anybody that didn't grow up listening to his stuff," he said. "You know, VAN HALEN, we used to do from the first RAINBOW album, we did 'Man On The Silver Mountain'. I remember one time, the second VAN HALEN tour we were doing some festivals in Europe, and we actually played on the same show as Ronnie's band. Real powerful voice, you know, and definitely a driving force in hard rock music, that guy was." Slash told The Pulse Of Radio that he felt the loss of Dio very keenly. "He's just somebody I was influenced by," he said. " I played all the RAINBOW stuff, I played the DIO stuff, the SABBATH stuff when I was in, you know, high school. I don't think that it's really set in what a, you know, huge figure in rock 'n' roll we lost, you know. Really major. Probably one of the most influential heavy metal singers of all time."