December 05, 2012 3:33pm PT by Michele Amabile Angermiller
Train to Raise Funds for Hurricane-Ravaged Town of Sea Bright, New Jersey
First responders and the residents of Sea Bright, New Jersey will get a much needed dose of Christmas cheer Wednesday night as the band Train and Grammy-nominated local singer Linda Chorney join forces for a special, intimate performance benefiting charity Sea Bright Rising.
Both acts will take the stage at the Sea Bright firehouse following the town’s Christmas Tree lighting. The appearance will be filmed by VH1 for a series of vignettes airing throughout Christmas Day to help raise awareness for the local non-profit. “Christmas in Sea Bright” will also relay the story of Charlotte Nagy, a 16-year old Rumson, NJ teenager, who made a video about how the storm affected the town of Sea Bright, then reached out to her favorite band, and found a way to help residents rebuild what was lost.
“When disaster turns a community upside down, like Sandy did to Sea Bright, you really want to help but are often unsure how,” Train singer Pat Monahan told The Hollywood Reporter. “We hope that by doing this show, we can bring attention to the town of Sea Bright and encourage donations to SeaBrightRising.org. If it can positively affect this community in any way, we will consider it successful."
Nagy’s documentary was carefully crafted with pictures and videos of the barrier island, and what she filmed was devastating. “My backyard is now a graveyard of Sea Bright,” the teen narrates in her film as the camera pans an overturned boat in the debris.
Despondent over what happened to her favorite beach town, Nagy contacted the group -- and received a response.
“The band and I felt strongly about doing something to help, so when our fan and friend Charlotte Nagy sent us her video of Sandy's effects on her town, the decision to come to aide Sea Bright was obvious,” Monahan said.
In another altruistic gesture, Train reached out to Chorney, a Sea Bright resident that now resides in Arizona. Her Sea Bright home was destroyed in the storm, and is currently uninhabitable.
A source close to Chorney said Train, who had never met the singer before, personally contacted and invited her to accompany them at the show, and even picked up the tab for her airfare.
Chorney said she is “humbled” by the invitation and anxious to return to her hometown, which flew a banner on Ocean Avenue in support of the singer’s 2012 Best Americana album Grammy nomination for her CD, Emotional Jukebox.
Sea Bright Rising Director Ilene Winters said the non-profit began organically, as local bar owner Chris Wood immediately set up a tent city to cook meals for relief workers in Sea Bright.
Winters, with her background in fundraising, joined the movement immediately and set up a Facebook Page, which quickly gained 4,000 followers. She said that she hopes Train’s involvement will raise awareness of Sea Bright Rising’s local and national efforts to help the residents and businesses affected by the storm.
Tom Calderone, President of VH1, said the network is all too happy to set the stage for the rebirth of Sea Bright, telling THR, "We hope that our Christmas Day messages inspire others to help Sea Bright as well as the many, many other communities along the East Coast who need assistance in the long-term."