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Neil Diamond Digs Deep For Hurricane Ike Victims

HOUSTON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Neil Diamond is good as his word. After an incognito visit to the tiny Texas hamlet of Trinity Bay, which had been devastated by Hurricane Ike, the singer found himself shocked by the extent of the damage and resolved to do something about it. Since then, he has been donating 100% of the merch proceeds from each of the twenty concerts on his current tour to help the victims of Hurricane Ike.

"These people are in big trouble and I want to help," Diamond told the Houston Chronicle. "It may only be a drop in the bucket, but I'm going to ask my audiences in every city that I play to help. So far they've come through to the tune of more than $700,000. I intend to keep asking until the end of this tour."

The region that Diamond visited had been particularly hard-hit by the storm with as much as 90% of standing structures destroyed in some places. As he visited, Diamond noticed that many residents had been reduced to living in their tents or cars.

"As we drove down there, I tried to show him the height of the storm's line in the trees, and you could still see the debris up there that was carried by the water," Anahuac Mayor Guy Jackson, who took Diamond to the community told the Chron. "And then we started getting to the homes. The level of destruction just gets worse and worse and worse as you get closer to water's edge."

The total proceeds that Diamond will donate to the Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund, the charity set up by Mayor Bill White is likely to be in the millions. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers