Billy Crystal, a Long Island native whose family moved to Long Beach when he was a toddler, announced on June 22 that he was donating $1 million to the town to help them rebuild and recover from the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012.
While standing on a part of the town’s boardwalk that has been restored – a boardwalk that is now being named after him – he confirmed the donation. $112,000 comes directly from Billy Crystal and his family and the balance is from money he raised at Celebrity Fight Night, an annual black-tie gala with auction that serves as a fundraising event (primarily for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center).
Billy Crystal is just the latest celebrity that has donated money to help Superstorm Sandy survivors.
Lady Gaga announced on her official website in November that she was donating $1 million to the American Red Cross, suggesting that she wouldn’t be the person or artist she was if it hadn’t been for the neighborhoods of New York.
Michael Kors (the Project Runway judge and fashion designer) also donated $1 million to the American Red Cross in tribute to the success his business has had by being based in New York City.
Celerity chef and television star Rachel Ray donated $500,000 to the ASPCA to help animals and families affected by Sandy.
The Dave Matthews Band held a concert at the Izod Center in New Jersey and committed $1 million to the Community Foundation of New Jersey’s Recovery Fund for Sandy survivors.
The Disney/ABC Television Group raised nearly $17 million in early November for the American Red Cross’ efforts in helping people in the New York and New Jersey area recover from the effects of Sandy.
The World Wresting Entertainment (WWE) partnered with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York City Mike Bloomberg and raised approximately $525,000 in donations through a celebrity auction with all proceeds going to Mary Pat Christie’s Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, as well as the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.
Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report donated $125,000 each to 3 charities (Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, funded through DonorsChoose.org; Team Rubicon Sandy Outreach; and Habitat for Humanity).
And, of course, we had multiple celebrities participating in 2 benefit concerts held after Superstorm Sandy. In November, NBC broadcast a concert across its networks that included performances by New York and New Jersey natives Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi, as well as other performers like Sting, Jon Stewart, Jimmy Fallon, Steven Tyler and Mary J. Blige.
A month later, the 12-12-12 concert was held at the greatest venue in the world, Madison Square Garden, to benefits victims of the storm. All money raised went to the Robin Hood Relief Fund and, prior to the concert, more than $30 million had been raised just through ticket sales. Performers included Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Billy Joel (again stepping up to the plate for New York), Chris Martin, Paul McCartney and Alicia Keys. And you can continue to donate to the cause by purchasing the CD of the 12-12-12 concert at Amazon.com, which is donating all proceeds to the Robin Hood Relief Fund.
As a native New Yorker and current New Jersey resident, I am always grateful to see people gifted with so much talent give back to people who need their help.