Katey Sagal is so much more than Gemma Teller Morrow, the gritty matriarch of the "Son of Anarchy" biker club.
Turns out Sagal and her real life husband, "Anarchy" director Kurt Sutter, are as charitable as their TV characters are tough.
The cast showed up at the Asbury Park's Paramount Theatre in New Jersey to answer fan questions, screen Sons of Anarchy Season 6 Episode 10 - and to raise nearly $70,000 in recovery relief for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, reports TVFanatic.com.
All proceeds from the special fan event went to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund and Staten Strong charities. Sutter says that every season, he sets viewership goals with Anarchy fans. If they're met, the show rewards the fans. This year, he decide to go to his home state to hold the fan event and sell tickets to raise funds for Sandy relief efforts.
"I try to maintain that relationship with our fans and show our appreciation. It was a way for us to do that and for our fans to help as well in terms of giving back to the community they love and just sort of have some fun," said Sutter.
Sagal dressed in black leather sang for the New Jersey audience with her band. The actress has just released a new album, her first in nine years. "Covered" is mostly a collection of covered songs, including Tom Petty's 1989 classic "Free Fallin."
Alongside Sagal's acting career, she has lent backing vocals to artists from Bette Midler and Bob Dylan to Tanya Tucker and Gene Simmons. On Covered, her third studio album, she is backed by the Forest Rangers, who are led by Sons of Anarchy music supervisor and musical director Bob Thiele. Thiele, along with songwriter Tonio K, penned "Follow the River," the record's one original number.
Sutter says he was inspired to make this a benefit event by Theo Rossi, who plays Juan Carlos "Juice" Ortiz on "Anarchy." Rossi is also a Staten Island native and cofounded Staten Strong after hurricane Sandy hammered the community.
How will the money be used?
The Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, according to its website, has awarded more than $25 million in its first year to over 90 non-profit organizations doing relief and rebuilding work.
"I am so pleased to announce that the Fund has granted more than $25 million in the last year to New Jersey's recovery and rebuilding efforts," said First Lady Mary Pat Christie, chair of the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. "Our grantee partners have been the lifeline for so many in their communities. The valuable services they offer have impacted the lives of over 100,000 New Jerseyans. I know that for many Sandy is still very much a part of their lives and I pledge to keep making calls to raise funds and awareness for the people of New Jersey."
The latest round of funding, $1 million spread out among 13 organizations on Oct. 31, includes $68,000 to the First Presbyterian Church of Matawan to expand their bath and kitchen facilities for the 500 volunteers per year coming to assist in rebuilding projects. Another $250,000 was donated to the Bayshore Center at Bivalve-Cumberland LTRG, to add staff and help 100 homeowners with repairs and mold remediation.