Dave Grohl, Geezer Butler + More Roll for Cancer Research at 5th Annual Bowl for Ronnie
It's time to set 'em up and knock 'em down, with the hopes that eventually we'll be able to knock down cancer for good one day. The 5th Annual Bowl for Ronnie took place Thursday night (Nov. 7) at the Pinz Bowling Alley in Studio City, California with members of the rock and metal world and a number of celebrities rolling to raise funds for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund.
As with most years, the event brought out many a musician who came to show their support for one of metal's most beloved figures while his namesake charitable organization continued their mission to aid research of stomach, colon and prostate cancers.
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl told us, "[Ronnie James Dio] was the nicest guy in the world, and he was so sweet to everyone. He seemed very humble and down to earth and his music meant a lot to a lot of people. So when he passed, I think the whole community really felt it. He was one of the good guys. So over the years, I've run into Wendy [Dio] and I've done a few things, including a barbecue thing for her, here and there, so it feels right to be here with a bunch of fellow musicians for a good cause."
Vio-Lence's Phil Demmel, who brought his own "skull" bowling ball, added, "It's all about Ronnie. He embodies everything that this music should be about and humanity should be about — caring, remembering, passion — I miss him." And Granny 4 Barrel's Granny spoke of growing up near Ronnie and following his career from Elf and Rainbow through Sabbath and Dio.
For others who came to roll, the night offered a chance to bowl in honor of loved ones. One Machine's Steve Smyth revealed that his bandmate Ronny Munroe recently lost his wife to cancer and they came to the event to lend their support in the battle. Sonia Harley, who was discovered by Lemmy, revealed that his death further encouraged her efforts to help the Stand Up and Shout Foundation in any way possible.
Meanwhile, Richie Kotzen attended in honor of his best friend who passed over the last year, while Brady Bunch actress Susan Olsen lost her manager after his battle with cancer. "It's a thief. It just steals," said Olsen. "To see these wonderful people come out and support, it's great, and I'm a big fan of Ronnie's."
While many of the attendees called music their career, this year brought out a pro to show everyone how it's done. PBA bowler and a three-peat Player of the Year, Jason Belmonte, got the honors of starting the festivities with the first roll. As you might expect, it was a strike, though there was a little added drama as the final pin lingered before it fell. Belmonte told us beforehand, "When I'm ready to train or run, you want to put a little hard rock and heavy metal on. You want to listen to Foo Fighters, Guns N' Roses and put that music through your ears to get a little pumped up. So meeting some of these guys tonight is going to be a lot of fun. I've been listening to them for so long, so it's going to be surreal to shake their hands." Indeed, later, Belmone was spotted chatting with Dave Grohl and getting his shirt signed.
"Everyone is extremely competitive, so I have been given forewarning that I'm not allowed to help one team more than another or I might start a fight," the pro bowler told us. He wasn't wrong.
While it is all in good fun and for a great cause, there is definitely a competitive streak as perennial favorite Marc Ferrari of Keel had a bit of a score to settle. "I'm competitive, but we all know it's in good fun. It's not about winning the tournament, it's all about helping Wendy and the foundation," said Ferrari, but later revealing, "We actually did win last year, just so you guys know. We had the best average, but Eddie Trunk had seven bowlers and they gave it to him because he had more pins, so this year they know they can't do that."
Belmonte, whose mother had breast cancer and whose grandfather died of cancer, said he was impressed by the Stand Up and Shout foundation, explaining, "When you talk to the people running this event, you can see the passion that they have for this and it makes you want to give more."
Speaking of giving, the Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund is continuing to aid the research of Dr. David Wong as he continues to develop a non-invasive saliva test to help detect some of the aforementioned digestive cancers. As Wong received another $25,000 check, he revealed that he felt they were three months away from readying their latest work.
At the end of the night, balls were rolled, beers were drank, monies were donated and raffle winners walked away with some cool Dio and Belmonte-related items. And yes, there were trophies to be had. While Trunk's team that included Grohl, Geezer Butler, Brent Woods and Steven Adler and Ferrari's team with Brett Scallions, Gilby Clarke and Richie Kotzen looked ready to do battle again, it was Fuel's Phil Buckman headlining one of the winning teams on this night. Plus, Flotsam & Jetsam's Michael Spencer was among the night's top individual bowlers. See our photo gallery from the 5th Annual Bowl for Ronnie below and to learn how you can donate to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, click here.
5th Annual Bowl for Ronnie Photo Gallery