Update, 5 p.m. March 3: Some sad news to share if you haven't heard yet, Roy Waines passed away on Friday night. Tonight's Royz House benefit will still be taking place as originally planned tonight at the Church in support to Roy's family, and it will also now serve as a celebration of his life with friends and family remembering Roy and sharing stories. Keep reading for more on this beloved Denver nightclub scene icon and more details on tonight's event.
Original post, 10:47 a.m. March 1: Roy Waines is battling cancer, and he has been for the better part of a year. If you don't know him, Roy is a Denver nightclub icon who's been a fixture on the local scene for more than two decades. If you've lived here for any period of time, it's a safe bet that Roy has checked your ID, kept you in line or thrown you out of your favorite bar at least once. He has a well established reputation for being one of the most dependable guys in the business. Seeing Roy standing at the front door of any establishment gives it the kind of credibility that money just can't buy.
As Rock Island's bouncer, doorman promoter and manager Roy was cursed, bribed, feared, respected, and even shot at as he stood in the tunnel entrance to that legendary and now defunct 15th Street club. In addition to Rock Island, Roy's had stints at other local institutions like Club Synergy, La Boheme and, most recently, Shotgun Willie's.
Roy's always been an intensely private person, which is why the shocking news of his situation has taken more than a year to reach the ears of the people in the scene that care for him the most. In January of 2012, Roy was diagnosed with cancer and privately began his fight. After more than a year of ups and downs, his family and closest friends felt it was finally time to come forward with the news.
As soon as they heard about their friend, Paul Italiano (DJ and proprietor of classic Denver boutique FashioNation) and Mark Strazisar (Manager of nightclubs like Sutra and Lucky Star) moved quickly to create a big benefit befitting of such a big personality in the Denver nightclub scene. All proceeds from this weekend's event at the Church -- fittingly taking place this Sunday, March 3, which many around here observe and celebrate as 303 day -- are going toward Roy's medical care. The night will combine a silent auction, with DJ sets from the likes of Jesse James, Tribal Touch, and DJ Tabor, and lots of good vibes and love from several generations of the clubbers, and industry folks whose lives Roy touched.
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Former colleagues Louie Giunta and Thanos Lemonidis have been collecting items for the silent auction. They have tapped some of the many sports luminaries that have been fortunate enough to get the "You guys are okay" nod from Roy over the years, even when there was a line down the block in front of his door. Items signed by the likes of John Elway, Peter Forsberg, Tommy Lasorda and even some guy named Peyton Manning will be on the auction block Sunday night.
The Facebook event page has become a living wall of great memories and stories. People sharing how Roy did something as big as give them their first job, or just how he shared his big smile with those that he worked with and cared about. Mostly there's just snapshot after snapshot of Roy sharing life's journeys with friends and family.
It is unlikely that Roy himself will attend the event on Sunday but the amount of people still attending to show their love underscores the incredible nature of Denver's nightclub community. Roy is one of the guys charged with keeping everybody safe and sound and Denver's club community is enthusiastic to do the same for him. For those who are inclined to make a donation, a PayPal account has been setup and funds can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can also be made in person at any First Bank of Colorado location directed to the Roy Waines Benefit Fund.
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