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Tuesday July 9, 2013

SAYREVILLE, N.J. -- Jon Bon Jovi went home Monday to present a $1 million check from his band to a fund to help New Jersey recover from Superstorm Sandy.

The rocker joined Gov. Chris Christie and first lady Mary Pat Christie to announce the donation during a ceremony where the native son rocker got bigger cheers than the popular governor.

"My being here is not political," Bon Jovi said during a news conference in front of the borough hall in the central New Jersey town. "It’s emotional."

Bon Jovi, who has long had philanthropic interests, has been highly visible in his home state since the storm hit.

Days after the October 2012 storm, he visited washed out Sayreville, a flood-prone blue-collar community along the Raritan River. It was the town’s third devastating flood in three years.

He was a headliner of a relief concert and is, along with Bill Bradley, Bruce Springsteen and others, a co-chairman of the storm relief fund overseen by Mary Pat Christie, which is designed to help people with needs not covered by government aid or insurance.

Christie thanked the star for staying true to his New Jersey roots.

And Bon Jovi, who said that he thought playing local block parties as a teenager meant he’d made the big-time, thanked the people of his hometown for their good deeds after the storm.