Supporting the evening’s festivities were (from left) Rita Haney, Metal Blade Records President Tracy Vera; Gloria Butler, Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath and Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning) (Photo by Craig Newman)
The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund, founded in memory of the late rock music legend, commemorated the 10th anniversary of his passing and the formation of the charity with its 10th Anniversary Memorial Awards Gala held on February 20 at the Avalon Hollywood. The organization recognized honorees in eight categories — each named after songs written by Ronnie James Dio — who have played a role in either Dio‘s legacy or that of the charity.
The gala attracted over 300 VIP attendees including Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), Sebastian Bach, Jeff Pilson (Foreigner, Dio), Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Dead Daisies), Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe), Fred Coury (Cinderella), John Bush (Antrhax, Armoured Saint), Doug Aldrich(Whitesnake, Dio, Dead Daisies), Ahmet Zappa, Terry Ilous (Great White, XYZ), Rita Haney (longterm girlfriend of “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, who revealed her own recent cancer diagnosis) and most touchingly, Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot), who had postponed his latest chemotherapy treatment for Stage IV pancreatic cancer in order to attend the gala.
Music was provided by Ronnie James Dio‘s live band DIO, featuring vocalists Tim “Ripper” Owens and Oni Logan, and band members Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, Scott Warren and Bjorn Englen, and highlighted by the vocals and visuals of Ronnie James Dio.
The awards went to:
Stand Up And Shout Award: Jeff Pezzuti, CEO of Eyellusion, creators of the “Dio Returns!” hologram.
Rainbow In The Dark Award: Rainbow Bar & Grill and Whisky A Go Go owner Mikael Maglieri.
Sacred Heart Award: Dr. David Wong, professor and associate dean for research, UCLA School Of Dentistry, and director for UCLA Center for Oral/Head & Neck Oncology Research (COOR) for his work in developing a non-invasive saliva test for the early detection of cancer, which has been supported by the Dio Cancer Fund.
Killing The Dragon Award: Laura Heatherly, CEO of the T.J. Martell Foundation, which is dedicated to funding innovative medical research focused on finding treatments and cures for cancer, leukemia and AIDS.
Holy Diver Award: Rhino Entertainment/Warner Music Group executives Mark Pinkus, president, Rhino Entertainment & U.S. Catalog; Jason Elzy, vice president, communications & marketing, Rhino Entertainment; Brian Dodd, manager, global artist brand management, Rhino Entertainment; andJason Day, vice president, A&R, Rhino Entertainment.
King Of Rock ‘N Roll Award: Barry Drinkwater, executive chairman, Global Merchandise Services Ltd.
Master Of The Moon Award: BMG executives Jeff Christian, director, catalog; senior vice-president Michael Kachko; Thomas Scherer, executive vice-president, repertoire & marketing L.A., global writer services & China; and Kathy Rivkin Daum, senior director, films.
Magica Award: Wyn Davis, Ronnie James Dio‘s longtime recording engineer and owner of Total Access Recording Studios.
The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund (diocancerfund.org) has already raised over $2 million in its short history. Monies raised have been committed to the cancer research work of the T.J. Martell Foundation for Cancer, AIDS and Leukemia Research, the gastric cancer research unit of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where Ronnie was treated for gastric cancer during the last six months of his life, and other cancer research projects. Since 2016, the Dio Cancer Fund has also committed funds to support the research of Dr. David Wong and his team at the UCLA School of Dentistry in developing a simple, non-invasive saliva test for the early detection of cancer, which is in keeping with the Fund‘s mission of cancer prevention, research and education.
The 6th Annual “Ride For Ronnie” motorcycle ride and concert will take place on Sunday, May 17 in Los Angeles.