Katey Sagal: More than the matriarch of 'Sons of Anarchy'

Katey Sagal joined Kurt Sutter and other 'Sons of Anarchy' cast members to raise $70,000 for hurricane Sandy relief organizations. Katey Sagal also released a new album.

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.

Sagal, New Jersey native Sutter, and other cast members of the hit FX cable channel series turned out Sunday Nov. 10 for a benefit event to raise money for two hurricane Sandy relief organizations.

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."

Rolling Stone writes:

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.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.