Hollywood veteran Billy Crystal has helped to raise $1 million (£645,161) to aid officials rebuilding his native Long Beach, New York following the devastation of last year's (Oct12) Superstorm Sandy.
The When Harry Met Sally... star returned home on Saturday (22Jun13) to present the cheque to local authorities after helping to raise the majority of the funds from the Celebrity Fight Night charity gala in March (13). The annual event, which salutes the legacy of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, supports the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix, Arizona and a host of other organisations, and the city of Long Beach was one of the beneficiaries at this year's (13) bash.
Crystal boosted the $888,000 (£572,903) raised by dipping into his own pocket to round up the gift to a cool $1 million.
The comedian previously shared his heartbreak over the extreme damage caused to his hometown during an appearance at the star-studded 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief in December (12), telling the audience, "It was the perfect place to grow up - the motto of our town is, 'I have Long Beach sand in my shoes' and now that sand is still in their kitchens, and their living rooms, and still in their streets. The ocean I used to dream about became their worst nightmare.
"No one could have anticipated the level of devastation Sandy would bring, or just how many lives it would affect. Over 100 people died, over 600,000 homes and 500,000 businesses were destroyed or damaged, entire neighbourhoods were wiped out."