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Hurricane Sandy Fundraisers: Jersey Shore, Mob Wives, Cyndi Lauper, and Cake Boss Give Back

By Sharon Knolle
The East Coast is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy and several celebs—including the casts of Jersey Shore and Mob Wives—are doing their part to help. Bigger Is Better author Big Ang drummed up support on Twitter, asking people to stop by her Staten Island bar The Drunken Monkey with donations of diapers, blankets, canned food, cleaning supplies, and heaters. “Good morning everyone, wake up and realize you woke up and you’re healthy. Be grateful for everything you have xoxo,” she tweeted Nov. 5.

Sandy shut down production of Mob Wives, but cameras began rolling again as the women headed out to help relief efforts. Show producer Jennifer Graziano told the New York Post, “This is all part of the reality of these women, and we can’t ignore it. We’re not a documentary or a news crew. We don’t want to intrude on the people who have been hurt bad, but we do want to see what’s happened here through the eyes of the women.”

Graziano said even Ramona Rizzo is pitching in. “I have to admit, Ramona has shocked me,” she notes. “She’s supposed to be the bitch, but she has been at every donation site on the island.

“This is going to sound funny but Ramona has had a Barbie collection since she was kid. It was her favorite thing. She went down to Midland Beach [one of the hardest hits areas on the island] and gave the entire collection to a kid who’d lost all her toys.”

The cast of Jersey Shore will reunite for an MTV fundraiser to help victims of Hurricane Sandy, airing Thursday. MTV and Architecture for Humanity, a non-profit that provides design and construction services after natural disasters, have set up a “Restore the Shore” fund to help rebuild the devastated Jersey Shore.

The stars of the reality series haven’t been idle in the meantime:
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi tweeted, “Cleaning my closet today to donate clothes and whatever I can do the victims affected by sandy! I’m comin with clothes!” She also helped man the phones during GMA’s Day of Giving telethon on Nov. 5. Vinny Guadagnino raised over $2,000 in 48 hours via crowdfunding to help his native Staten Island. “Helping clean up this unbelievable destruction on #StatenIsland,” he tweeted, urging followers to donate to

Deena Cortese spent a day volunteering in Belmar, N.J., where the iconic boardwalks once stood. “So much more to be done… everyone close to the shore should go down and lend a hand,” she said via Twitter.

The Cake Boss’ bakery in Hoboken, N.J., wasn’t badly damaged by Sandy, but Buddy Valastro has still vowed to help rebuild his home town, tweeting support for the NJ Relief Fund and Rebuild Hoboken, saying, “Help us get Hoboken back on its feet! Go to to donate. All proceeds go towards Hoboken. No donation is too small.”

Former New Kids on the Block singer (and current star of CBS drama Blue Bloods) Donnie Wahlberg posted a tour of his flooded New York City apartment online, tweeting, “My entire building is under a foot of water.” He found refuge on higher ground during the storm and later tweeted, “Material things are meaningless” and thanked his “awesome neighbors” for their help.

Sadly, singer Cyndi Lauper lost her uncle in the storm. George Stathis, 90, was found dead in his home in Rockaway, Queens, an area that suffered historic heavy flooding. Lauper dedicated her song “Time After Time” to her late uncle at a benefit concert for storm victims at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Nov. 5. “I lost my Uncle George in the hurricane,” she said. “He was old. He didn’t want to leave his house. I was in Chicago, and I called and said [to relatives], ‘Why did you guys leave him,’ and they just didn’t think it was going to get that bad.”

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