The fourth annual “Ride For Ronnie” that took place in Southern California May 6 raised $50,000 for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund.
The ride began at Harley-Davidson Glendale and concluded at Los Encinos Park, where more than 300 riders and passengers were greeted by Dio Cancer Fund co-founder/president Wendy Dio. Appropriately, a rainbow graced the sky as the event raised needed cash to combat the illness that ended Ronnie James Dio’s life 2010.
Of course, Rainbow was one of the bands Dio fronted during his career, having been recruited by founder Ritchie Blackmore before the guitarist split with Deep Purple. Dio would go on to replace Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath, form the band Dio in 1982, and go on to front Heaven & Hell in 2006 with Sabbath members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler plus former Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice.
Participants in this year’s “Ride For Ronnie” included actors Star Fields (“Sons Of Anarchy”) and Al Coronel (“The Last Ship”), actor/musician E.J. Curse, Faster Pussycat’s Taime Downe, former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke, Dio Cancer Fund medical director Dr. Sandy Kappor and Frank Kramer of the KLOS morning show “Frosty, Heidi and Frank.” The Los Angeles radio station also served as event sponsor.
Gene Kirkland – An Awesome Check
Wendy Dio and Dr. Sandy Kapoor present $25,000 to Dr. David Wong for early cancer detection research at UCLA
Hosted by radio/tv media personality Eddie Trunk, the afternoon of music included Long Beach-based band Railgun, followed by the live debut of Classless Act, fClassless Act, founded by childhood friends Nico Tsangaris on guitar and drummer London Hudson, son of guitarist Slash.
The Ride For Ronnie stage also hosted the 10-piece Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band One From The Road, Beastö Blancö, whose lineup includes Calico Cooper, daughter of Alice Cooper, Dio’s Disciples, and Steven Adler’s All Star Band.
The spirit of Lynyrd Skynyrd was also present in the silent auction via a guitar signed by former Lynyrd Skynyrd member Artemis Pyle as well as handwritten and signed lyrics to the band’s classic “Free Bird” and a signed photo.
Other items offered up for bidding included Wendy Dio’s pink leather motorcycle jacket, a Heaven & Hell denim jacket complete with silver studs, a 2016 numbered, limited-edition Black Sabbath “End Tour” book, plus Scorpions and Iron Maiden packages and other goodies.