Singer Cyndi Lauper dedicated a performance of her iconic ballad “Time After Time” to her elderly uncle, a victim of Hurricane Sandy, at Lennox Hill Hospital’s Autumn Ball in New York City on Monday.
Lauper, 59, said her 90-year-old uncle, George Stathis, was found dead in his Rockaways, Queens home, a waterfront area that was hit hard by the superstorm. Many of those killed by the storm were from that area.
According to the New York Post, Lauper asked her relatives why they had not forced her uncle to evacuate his home. They simply did not realize the storm’s severity.
“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,” the Queens native said to the crowd at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel. “He was old. He didn’t want to leave his house.”
The annual ball is normally a fundraiser for the hospital. However, the hospital decided to change its focus this year to benefit New York residents affected by Sandy.
The U.S. death toll due to Sandy was at 110 on Sunday, CNN reported, in addition to two deaths in Canada and 67 in the Caribbean.