While Billy Crystal’s presentation of two checks totaling $1 million to the City of Long Beach at a ceremony on the new boardwalk Saturday drew considerable local publicity, the celebrity was also behind a little known donation to his hometown.
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Crystal told Patch that he and his wife, Janice, assisted with replacing books at Long Beach School District.
"Janice and I have replaced the library at the middle school, we got other people to get involved, and the Target Corporation gave a significant amount of money to help rebuild the library there and restock the books,” Crystal said.
In February, Target awarded the district’s Hurricane Sandy recovery program with a $25,000 grant, after Middle School teacher Faithe Ferrante facilitated the application for the grant with support from the famed actor and Long Beach alumnus, according to the district.
“He helped get a grant from Target that involved the donation of [$25,000 of] books to the district,” Superintendent David Weiss said of Crystal. “They were used in the middle school library and elsewhere in the district.''
The grant is part of Target’s ongoing efforts to build strong, safe and healthy communities across the country, said Laysha Ward, Target’s president of community relations. These efforts include Target’s long history of giving 5 percent of its profit to communities, which today equals more than $4 million every week. As part of this commitment, Target is on track to give $1 billion for education by the end of 2015.
“At Target, we are committed to serving local communities where we do business,” Ward said. “That’s why we are proud to partner with Long Beach Public Schools as we work to strengthen communities and enrich the lives of our guests and team members.”
* Rosemary Leonetti and Joseph Kellard contributed to this story.