Ronnie James Dio

Dio Cancer Fund Hosts First Awards Gala At Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles

Funds Raised for Gastric Cancer Research and Education as Seven Distinguished Supporters Receive Awards

The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund hosted its first Awards Gala on Tuesday evening (November 1) at the famed Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles to raise funds for its commitment to cancer prevention, research and education. 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. 

Wendy Dio, widow of the late singer and Fund Founder/President, and Gloria Butler, Chairman of the Board of the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, will present the Dio Cancer Fund’s latest pledge to the T. J. Martell Foundation for Cancer, AIDS and Leukemia Research at their annual dinner in New York this week. 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. Eddie Trunk, host of VH1 Classic’s “That Metal Show,” served as Special Guest emcee and, after introducing each honoree, was surprised by Wendy Dio with the final award of the evening, the Long Live Rock ‘N Roll Award.

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 Ferrari 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.

Event sponsors and guests were treated to cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and various gourmet food stations created by renowned chef William S. Bloxsom-Carter and a performance by the rock band Asia featuring John Payne in addition to escorted tours of the Mansion grounds and world-famous grotto and commemorative photos, some with Playboy Bunnies. Silent and live auctions, with items such as guitars signed by The Rolling Stones and U2 among others and one-of-a-kind sports memorabilia including Mohammed Ali’s signed robe and boxing gloves, proved to be an exciting addition to the evening’s festivities. Among the sponsors for the evening were Eagle Rock Entertainment, Metal Blade Records, Revolver Magazine, Chaos Visual Productions, Upstaging, Production Resource Group (PRG), ESP Guitars and Fontana Distribution.

The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund is a privately funded 501C3 charity organization dedicated to cancer prevention, research and education.

Information regarding the Dio Cancer Fund is available at their website:

Caption for group photo (from left):  Sandeep Kapoor, M.D.; Mike Carden, Danny Zelisko, Gloria Butler, Wendy Dio, Eddie Trunk, Terry “Geezer” Butler and Rita Haney at the First Dio Cancer Fund Awards Gala at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles on November 1, 2011.

Photos Courtesy W3 Communications/Group Shot By Gene Kirkland.

Ronnie James Dio Stand Up& Shout Cancer Fund Teams With Asian Elephant Art project

Photo: Courtesy of Mark Weiss/W3

The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up & Shout Cancer Fund has teamed with The Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project (AEACP) to create one-of-a-kind guitars painted by the project’s elephants in Thailand to raise money and awareness for both organizations. Wendy Dio, president and founder of Stand Up & Shout, board chair Gloria Butler and medical director Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, along with legendary Black Sabbath/Heaven and Hell bassist Geezer Butler and world-renowned photographer Mark Weiss, are currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand, home to the AEACP, where the guitars are being painted.

The talented elephants of the Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project, whose paintings are now exhibited and sold in museums and galleries around the world and have been featured in National Geographic, are painting guitars graciously donated by The ESP Guitar Company. These painted guitars will be auctioned off with half of the proceeds going to AEACP and the other half going to SUAS.

Photo: Courtesy of Mark Weiss/W3

The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund is a privately funded nonprofit organization dedicated to cancer prevention, research and education. It was founded in memory of the late singer who died in 2010. The organization is collecting additional guitars donated by celebrated musicians for a larger fund-raising auction later this year.

The AEACP is dedicated to saving the diminishing number of Asian Elephants and to raise public awareness of the plight of Asian Elephants. National Thai Elephant Day annually celebrates the importance of elephants a part of Thai culture and as part of their environment. Currently, there are between 3,000 and 4,000 elephants living in Thailand, half of which are domesticated.

We Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year Special Edition 2CD Released September 21!

Imagine this: It’s December and you hear the knock of Christmas carolers at your door. You go to your front stoop to be greeted by members of ZZ Top, Motörhead, Anvil, Whitesnake, Them Crooked Vultures, andAlice Cooper. Is that how you prefer your holiday cheer delivered? Then consider yourself on Eagle Rock’s Christmas list! We Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year Special Edition will be released as a 2CD set on September 21. [MSRP $15.98]

We Wish You A Metal Xmas is a headbanging holiday treat, with hard rock and heavy metal-charged versions of your favorite joyful tunes. This revved up 2010 version is completed with four new tracks from the companion EP released in 2009.
The late great Ronnie James Dio, Lemmy Kilmister, Alice Cooper, Billy F Gibbons (ZZ Top), Geoff Tate (Queensryche), and Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Them Crooked Vultures), in addition to many others, crank out some fierce and festive merriment on classics like “Run Rudolph Run,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and “Silver Bells.” The four bonus tracks include “O Christmas Tree,” featuring Doro Pesch and Michael Schenker, “Auld Lang Syne,” performed by Girlschool, “Frosty The Snowman,” featuring Steve “Lips” Kudlow (Anvil) and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” featuring Dez Fafara (DevilDriver) and Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake).
Deck the halls with boughs of rocking!