Earlier this month over 80 guitars from rockers like Eddie Van Halen and Slash were auctioned off to raise money for cancer reseach. The Dio Cancer Fund — a charity that honors the late Ronnie James Dio — added $100K to an already impressive total to give to the TJ Martell Foundation. Since 2010 wife Wendy Dio has overseen the donation of over $300K.
Other hot guitars included those from Def Leppard, Queen‘s Brian May, Aerosmith, Metallica and Tony Iommi. Iommi is himself battling lymphoma. Earlier this year he was honored at the 2nd annual Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund Awards Gala.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the musicians and managers who donated guitars for our auction,” Wendy Dio said after the Dec. 1 guitar auction at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, Calif. “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.”
Dio died of stomach cancer in May 2010. Shortly after his death, the Dio Cancer Fund pledged to donate $300K to the TJ Martell Foundation, founded by music industry executive Tony Martell to honor his son who died of leukemia.