Time to reinstitute something we haven’t done in a while – which is to salute New Jerseyans and folks in general trying to make a difference.

I call it our “Ray’s Ray of Hope!”

And today I honor Corey Taylor, who’s releasing an album of cover songs sung by his hero, Ronnie James Dio – former lead singer of Black Sabbath.

The album, This is Your Life, will raise funds for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund who died of stomach cancer in May 2010 at the age of 67.

According to this story from mycentraljersey.com, Taylor, who’s the lead singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour said:

“I was pretty young. I’d missed the Rainbow and Sabbath eras, so when I started listening to Ronnie, it was solo Dio. And I can remember seeing the video for ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ on MTV, which was in its infancy at the time. I just remember loving the song and really getting into it.

Now, Taylor is getting the chance to salute Dio, contributing a cover of “Rainbow in the Dark” to “This is Your Life,” a Dio tribute album that will raise funds for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. Dio died of stomach cancer in May 2010 at the age of 67.

Dio’s longtime manager and wife, Wendy Dio, who produced “This is Your Life,” gave her stamp of approval to Taylor’s cover.

Co-founded by Wendy Dio and Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund has raised more than $800,000, committing funds to both the cancer research work of the T.J. Martell Foundation and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where Dio was treated during his final six months.

“This organization is not only wonderful, but it’s dedicated to something I feel very passionate about,” Taylor said of the Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. “We lost Ronnie to cancer, about a year and a half ago I lost my father-in-law to cancer, so it’s something I definitely believe in, and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to lend a hand to different organizations that are dedicated to it.

So you can say this is the perfect marriage - joining a cause to hopefully find a cure for cancer by channeling your passion through the music of a hero, who unfortunately was victimized by the dreaded disease.

The album, This is Your Life, which was released on Rhino Records, was just released today.