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Jon Bon Jovi Announces $1 Million Donation To New Jersey's Sandy Relief Fund

SAYREVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Jon Bon Jovi has been a high-profile presence in Sayreville and other hard-hit communities in New Jersey since Superstorm Sandy came ashore last October.

Now, as CBS 2's Chrsitine Sloan reported, Bon Jovi is making a big contribution to New Jersey's Sandy Relief Fund.

In recent years, Bon Jovi has been known for his song, "Who Says You Can't Go Home?" And now he is proving that you can – walking the streets he grew up on in Sayreville with Republican Gov. Chris Christie and touring a neighborhood ravaged by Sandy.

"My being here is not political. it is emotional, because I grew up here," Bon Jovi said. "I went to school here. I met my wife here."

The superstar was in his hometown to present a check from his band and wife to another famous wife – First Lady Mary Pat Christie – to the New Jersey Hurricane Relief Fund. He presented the $1 million check at the Sayreville Borough Hall.

Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley are among the co-chairs of the fund that was organized by Mary Pat Christie soon after the storm struck New Jersey in October.

The fund provides aid to families and business owners trying to rebuild their lives after the devastating storm.

Jon Bon Jovi Announces $1 Million Donation To New Jersey's Sandy Relief Fund

"This incredibly generous donation from Bon Jovi to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund will go a long way in the rebuilding process," said Christie. "From day one, Jon has been one of the most visible faces for Sandy recovery here in his hometown of Sayreville and throughout the entire state. On behalf of a grateful people, I thank Jon and Bon Jovi for all of the great work they've done for New Jersey."

Jon Bon Jovi and Gov. Chris Christie
Jon Bon Jovi and Gov. Chris Christie in Sayreville, N.J., July 8, 2013. Bon Jovi announced a $1 million donation to the Sandy relief effort. (credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

"We are so grateful to Bon Jovi for the love and commitment they have toward their home state and for this charitable donation to the Relief Fund," she added.

"Despite all of the enormous success and fame that Jon and his family have earned, they've never forgotten where they come from," said Gov. Christie.

The relief fund has raised $34 million and dispersed $11 million to victims, CBS 2's Christine Sloan reported.

After the check was presented, residents of Sayreville got a chance to take pictures with Bon Jovi.

"I am glad that people like him are stepping up and helping the people of New Jersey," said resident Marty Kuczynski.

But for Kuczynski, was a reminder of all the damage that remains. His home and dozens of others on this block were destroyed by Sandy and condemned.

"First time we got water, my whole basement flooded and the windows crashed. All the water came in," he said.

Kuczynski said he is in the process of selling his house to the government, but many others are still waiting for money to rebuild.

The relief fund has raised $38 million and dispersed $11 million to victims, CBS 2's Sloan reported.

Donors interested in making a contribution can visit the fund online at or make an immediate, one-time $10 donation directly to their phone bill by texting "SANDY" to 20222. Message and data rates may apply.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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