The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund is certainly doing its part to raise money, spread awareness, and, hopefully, one day find a cure for the same illness that took the life of one of rock's all-time great vocalists, Ronnie James Dio.
The Dio Cancer Fund, upon its formation two years ago, pledged a total of $300,000 to the T.J. Martell Foundation (an organization founded by music industry senior executive Tony Martell — who lost a son to leukemia — which raises funds for cancer research) and had already donated $200,000 to the Foundation. The remaining $100,000, which will be presented shortly, is earmarked for the gastric cancer research efforts at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, Tennessee. These monies were raised from the Dio Cancer Fund's recent annual awards gala and celebrity guitar auction.
Tony Martell recently stated, "The T.J. Martell Foundation is honored to work with Wendy Dio and the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund. We are all working together to fund important stomach cancer research at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center that will lead to new discoveries and hope for patients and their families. Ronnie James Dio was a friend of mine. I know he would be proud of the progress being made in his name."
On Saturday, December 1, at Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, a celebrity guitar auction was held benefiting the Dio Cancer Fund, which featured over 80 instruments donated by some of rock's biggest names, including SLAYER, DEF LEPPARD, Eddie Van Halen, Brian May, AEROSMITH, Slash, IRON MAIDEN, METALLICA, Tony Iommi, FOO FIGHTERS, and many others.
"Ronnie James Dio was such a force in music and his memory continues to conjure thoughts of rock royalty," said Darren Julien, Founder & CEO of Julien's Auctions. "It was an honor for Julien's Auctions to host the recent guitar auction that benefited the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund. Dean Schachtel and the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund board members put their heart and soul into the event, and the passion of all the celebrities and musical artists who donated their guitars was phenomenal. Because of this, we were able to raise much needed funds for an exceptional charity and cause."
Dio's widow and founder/president of the Fund, Wendy Dio, states: "Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the musicians and managers who donated guitars for our auction. Many thanks to Darren and everyone at Julien's Auctions for printing such a beautiful catalogue and working so hard on our behalf. Thanks to Dean Schachtel and my very hard-working Board of Directors — together we raised an amazing sum for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund. We will be presenting the T.J. Martell Foundation with a check for $100,000 which, in turn, will go to the Vanderbilt Research Center for studies in gastric cancers. Ronnie would be so very proud of all of you. Early detection saves lives, and one day, with your help, we will find a cure."
The Dio Cancer Fund, a privately funded 501C3 charity organization dedicated to cancer prevention, research and education, also hosted its annual awards gala on Halloween night at the Avalon in Hollywood, which raised additional funds for its work.
As the singer of some of the most iconic bands of the hard rock/heavy metal genre — RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH/HEAVEN & HELL, and DIO — Ronnie James Dio's vocals can be heard on such all-time classics as "Man On The Silver Mountain", "Long Live Rock 'N' Roll", "Neon Knights", "Heaven And Hell", "Rainbow In The Dark", "Holy Diver" and "The Last In Line", among countless others. Dio passed away on May 16, 2010 after a battle with stomach cancer, at the age of 67.