Sandy telethon raises nearly $23 million, MTV to air fundraiser
NATIONAL NEWS (CNN) — Friday night's concert telethon to benefit Sandy relief efforts was a success, having raised nearly $23 million, NBC reports.
NBC Universal aired the program across its networks, and included performances from stars who hail from some of the locations impacted by the storm, such as Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen (New Jersey), Billy Joel (Long Island), and Mary J. Blige and Christina Aguilera (New York City).
After witnessing the damage done in his home state, Bon Jovi said Friday on "Today" that "it was hard to see your hometown devastated like this ... my grammar school turned into a shelter, people's homes gone and them saying to me, 'We are homeless, we never intended to be homeless.' These are hard-working, blue-collar people."
The rocker, who immediately interrupted a European press junket in London to fly home last week, performed "Living on a Prayer" during the live telethon while Springsteen, Jimmy Fallon and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler did a cover of "Under the Boardwalk."
They were joined by a number of famous faces, including Tina Fey, Jon Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny DeVito and NBC News' Brian Williams. The hour-long, commercial-free event, called "Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together," was hosted by Matt Lauer. Proceeds from the telethon are going toward the American Red Cross, which is providing food, shelter and other forms of assistance to those impacted by Sandy.
Meanwhile, the "Jersey Shore" cast and MTV are also doing their part with a TV special called "Restore the Shore," which will encourage viewers to assist in the rebuilding of Seaside Heights, where the reality show is set.
The network has partnered with Architecture for Humanity to create a "Restore the Shore" fund for donations, which will be "principally directed toward the rebuilding of the famed Seaside Heights boardwalk, as well as supporting the re-building efforts of businesses and residents in the community," MTV says in a statement.
The event will air live from the network's Times Square studio at 11 p.m. ET on Thursday, November 15, and will feature the "Jersey Shore" cast as well as other special guests.