Jon Bon Jovi returned to his hometown of Sayreville, New Jersey to donate $1 million to the New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, a charity that aids those effected by last year’s hurricane, Billboard reports.
The Sandy Relief Fund is helmed by the state’s First Lady, Mary Pat Christie, and her husband, Governor Chris Christie, was present in front of the Sayreville borough hall to receive the donation from the rock star, his wife Dorothea and the rest of Bon Jovi.
“My being here is not political, it’s emotional,” Bon Jovi said. “I grew up here. I went to school here. I met my wife here.” He went on to talk about his early days as a musician in Sayreville, playing gigs at the hall and thinking it was “the big time.”
Bon Jovi also recalled visiting Sayreville and comforting residents immediately following Hurricane Sandy. “One thought came to me,” he said. “What can I do? One of the residents responded, saying, ‘Use your voice.'”
And he did just that, appearing in the Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together benefit concert – which raised $23 million for the Red Cross’ relief efforts – alongside artists including Bruce Springsteen, Christina Aguilera and Billy Joel. About a month later Bon Jovi joined a bill that also included Paul McCartney, the Who, Kanye West and more at the “12-12-12” all-star benefit.