Scoreboard roundup -- 8/31/18

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Friday’s sports events:

Toronto 6, Miami 5

N.Y. Yankees 7, Detroit 5
Cleveland 3, Tampa Bay 0
Minnesota 10, Texas 7
Chicago White Sox 6, Boston 1
L.A. Angels 3, Houston 0
Kansas City 9, Baltimore 2
Oakland 7, Seattle 5

Milwaukee 4, Washington 1
Philadelphia 2, Chicago Cubs 1, 10 Innings
Pittsburgh 3, Atlanta 2
St. Louis 12, Cincinnati 5
L.A. Dodgers 3, Arizona 2
San Diego 7, Colorado 0
San Francisco 7, N.Y. Mets 0

Atlanta 81, Washington 76
Phoenix 86, Seattle 66

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Usain Bolt makes debut as soccer player for Australian league

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images(SYDNEY) -- Usain Bolt, eight-time Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder, begins his soccer career Friday for Australia's A-League Central Coast Mariners in a preseason match.

Bolt, considered by many the greatest sprinter of all time, has been training with the Mariners as he attempts to re-invent himself as a professional soccer player. The former Olympian begins an indefinite trial period as he seeks a contract.

Fans are eager to see if the speed and athleticism Bolt is known for will carry over to the soccer field, and more than 10,000 people are expected to attend the game, where Bolt hopes to play in the last 15 or 20 minutes.

This is not the first time a renowned athlete has attempted to segue from one sport to another.

Michael Jordan, former Chicago Bulls basketball legend, notably transitioned to minor league baseball in 1994. Jordan's stint in the minor leagues was largely underwhelming, and he returned to play for the Bulls in 1995, leading them to three more of his six total championships.

Tim Tebow, a former Heisman Trophy winner, is pursuing a career in minor league baseball after a short but polarizing NFL career. Though a fan favorite, it's unlikely Tebow will advance to the majors.

A smooth transition is possible, as evidenced by Renaldo Nehemiah, an Olympic gold medalist in track and field who went on to a Super Bowl-winning career as a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys.

Bolt's move has garnered massive attention for the Mariners, who ended last season at the bottom of the A-League. Some have questioned whether Bolt's attempted transition is a publicity stunt, though others believe he'll be an asset to the sport. Bolt has insisted he is serious about pursuing a career in soccer.

"The more I play, the more comfortable I get," Bolt said at a press conference, adding that he's still in the learning process.

Bolt, who is training as a forward, had his first full practice session with the team on Tuesday. He admitted to struggling with the speed of the game, but said he's committed to pushing himself and putting in the necessary work to improve.

"I expect to make mistakes, but I also expect to go there and make myself proud," Bolt said.

Mariners head coach Mike Mulvey confirmed that Bolt is still adjusting to the fitness required for the game, but called Bolt "determined."

"I'm quite pleased with the way he's progressing,” Mulvey said at a press conference, adding that even he couldn't predict the strides Bolt will make. "When Usain Bolt walks in a door, you don't know your standards."

Ricky Simms, Bolt's agent, also told ABC News that his client is progressing well. Adding that everyone on the Mariners has been extremely welcoming, Simms said, "He is looking forward to the next nine months here."

While Bolt is candid about his nerves before the match, he noted that the season doesn't officially begin until October, giving him time to focus and dedicate himself to improving.

"I know when I get on the field," he said, "I'm always going to push myself to the limit."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 8/30/18

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Thursday’s sports events:

Cleveland 5, Minnesota 3
Detroit 8, N.Y. Yankees 7
Boston 9, Chicago White Sox 4
L.A. Angels 5, Houston 2
Seattle 7, Oakland 1

Milwaukee 2, Cincinnati 1, 11 Innings
St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 0
Chicago Cubs 5, Atlanta 4
San Diego 3, Colorado 2, 13 Innings
Arizona 3, L.A. Dodgers 1
(21) UCF 56, UConn 17

Miami 34, Atlanta 7
Philadelphia 10, N.Y. Jets 9
New England 17, N.Y. Giants 12
Cleveland 35, Detroit 17
Indianapolis 27, Cincinnati 26
Baltimore 30, Washington 20
Jacksonville 25, Tampa Bay 10
Pittsburgh 39, Carolina 24
New Orleans 28, L.A. Rams 0
Buffalo 28, Chicago 27
Minnesota 13, Tennessee 3
Houston 14, Dallas 6
Kansas City 33, Green Bay 21
Oakland 30, Seattle 19
L.A. Chargers 23, San Francisco 21
Denver 21, Arizona 10

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Organizations use outdoor sports to support veterans

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Across the country, volunteers, businesses, and entrepreneurs support veterans by engaging with them in different sports and outdoor activities.

This past week, veterans travelled to the beach to participate in the Wounded Warriors surfing event in Hampton, New Hampshire.

45 wounded warriors alongside their families attended the event, as did ten veterans from the Manchester Veterans Administration.

Ralph Fatello is the founder of the event, which is in its eleventh year, and he tells ABC-affiliate WMUR in New Hampshire that surfing helped him as he returned from the Vietnam War.

Army veteran Oscar Toce told reporters, "I wish I knew of this before, because I haven't had so much fun in a long time."

ABC News recently spoke with Sabot Group, a division of which, The Sabot Foundation, works to help combat veterans transition to civilian life by involving them with their racing organization.

"On the foundation side, we've grown exponentially," says co-founder Jon Krashna. According to Krashna, Sabot Group has donated $330,000 to veteran causes over the past eleven months.

"We involve combat veterans within our structure, whether it's drivers or pit crews, to give them some sort of purpose on the racing side," says Krashna.

In Wyoming, entrepreneur Ben Barto is capitalizing on veterans who hunt to help fellow veterans in need of assistance.

Barto founded Horns for Heroes, a nonprofit that employs veterans to create art with deer and elk horns that are purchased from others who have horns stored from hunting.

"Most military personnel and their friends are hunters and thus have antlers stored somewhere that are worth up to $15 per pound," Barto tells the Star-Herald in Nebraska. "Our effort is to gather and purchase antlers to help veterans in their hometown."

Barto feels more can be done to help veterans, and he is just trying to do his part by engaging with them in hunting and art.

He tells the Star-Herald, "Veteran services in the county leave a lot to be desired... working to find new ways to provide funding and employment to vet organizations is never a bad thing."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Twitter calls out 'policing of women's bodies' in sports

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Just days after Billy Jean King criticized the French Open's tournament chief of "policing women's bodies" for saying Serena Williams' catsuit "would no longer be accepted," the U.S. Open came under fire after a female player was penalized for briefly removing her top on the court.

Once again, King, whose name graces the facility where the grand slam tournament is held annually in Queens, New York, was among the chorus of voices demanding change.

"This rule is outdated and impractical," she wrote on Twitter.

Less than an hour later, the U.S. Open released a statement reversing its policy one day after the controversial call against French player Alize Cornet.

"We regret that a code violation was assessed to Ms. Cornet yesterday," the statement said. "We have clarified the policy to ensure this will not happen moving forward. Fortunately, she was only assessed a warning with no further penalty or fine."

According to the statement, all players will be allowed to change their shirts while sitting in the player chair.

The statement added, "Female players, if they choose, may also change their shirts in a more private location close to the court, when available. They will not be assessed a bathroom break in this circumstance."

"The more these incidents come out, that's a good thing," Asha Dahya, founder and editor of GirlTalkHQ, told ABC News. "That's going to lead to culture change more than policy ever will."

Dahya said both incidents point to a bigger systemic problem with the way that women's bodies are policed.

"Women's bodies seem to be a commodity in public spaces," she said. "Women's bodies are regulated through policies, and their bodies are dissected by the media."

Dahya said incidents like these play a part in the #MeToo conversation over assault, harassment and gender disparity.

"It's about who is in the position to take advantage of others," she said. "In the sporting arena, it's who is around, who is making these rules. It's men, not women."

The controversy started last week when French Open President Bernard Giudicelli said Williams and other players would have to dress more conservatively in future tournaments. According to The Independent, a U.K. newspaper, he singled out Williams in an interview with Tennis magazine, saying, "I believe we have sometimes gone too far. Serena's outfit this year, for example, would no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place."

His remarks went viral, with some of Williams' fans calling them misogynistic and even racist. King was among those responding on Twitter.

"The policing of women's bodies must end," the tennis great tweeted. "The 'respect' that's needed is for the exceptional talent @serenawilliams brings to the game. Criticizing what she wears to work is where the true disrespect lies."

Williams, who said the fitted suit was designed to protect her against blood clots, laughed off the entire ordeal at a press conference at the U.S. Open days later.

"Everything's fine, guys," she said. "When it comes to fashion, you don't want to be a repeat offender."

To her point, Williams showed up for her opening match in Queens wearing a custom-designed tutu by Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh and Nike. She paired it with NikeCourt Flare trainers and fishnet compression tights.

Twitter went wild.

A day later, as Cornet returned to the court following a 10-minute break from the 100-degree heat, she seemed to realize that her shirt was on backwards. She quickly pulled up her pink striped top and turned away from the court cameras as she took it off, showing her black-and-red sports bra underneath. Within seconds, Cornet put her shirt back on.

The chair umpire overseeing the match immediately hit her with a code violation. The Women's Tennis Association rulebook states that female players are only permitted to remove or change their clothing while they are off the court at the closest, most-private location. There is no such rule for male players.

The incident drew immediate criticism on Twitter.

"Alize Cornet came back to court after 10 minute heat break. Had her fresh shirt on back to front. Changed at back of court. Got a code violation. Unsportsmanlike conduct..... But the men can change shirts on court," tweeted Scottish tennis coach Judy Murray, who is the mother of professional tennis player Andy Murray.

Other Twitter users didn't mince words and called the ruling "sexist."

"The most important thing we've seen is the backlash," said Jane McManus, a longtime sportswriter for ESPN and other outlets.

McManus recalled the 1999 Women's World Cup final when Brandi Chastain ripped off her shirt and slid on the grass in her shorts and sports bra after scoring the winning penalty kick for the U.S. women's team.

"She wore far more than most women on the beach, but some said it distracted from the victory," McManus said. "It ended up being such a huge moment for women in sports. It also became part of a conversation about whether it was appropriate."

Twenty years later, McManus said, the conversation has evolved from how women look and what they are wearing to "what is the most functional thing for women athletes to be wearing."

"I think overwhelmingly you're seeing that women who are sports fans want that agency to be returned to women athletes," McManus said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 8/29/18

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Wednesday's sports events:

San Diego 8, Seattle 3
Boston 14, Miami 6
Tampa Bay 8, Atlanta 5
L.A. Dodgers 3, Texas 1

Houston 5, Oakland 4
Kansas City 9, Detroit 2
Baltimore 10, Toronto 5
Chicago White Sox 4, N.Y. Yankees 1
Minnesota 4, Cleveland 3

Chicago Cubs 2, N.Y. Mets 1, 11 Innings
N.Y. Mets 10, Chicago Cubs 3
Philadelphia 8, Washington 6
Milwaukee 13, Cincinnati 12, 10 Innings
Pittsburgh 2, St. Louis 0
Arizona 3, San Francisco 1

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks faces insider trading charges, released by team

2018 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks has conceded that he "participated in insider trading" four years ago and deeply regrets it.

"I was drawn in by the allure of being more than just a football player," Kendricks said in a statement released by his attorney Michael Schwartz. "While I didn’t fully understand all of the details of the illegal trades, I knew it was wrong, and I wholeheartedly regret my actions."

Kendricks said he trusted a former friend, Damilare Sonoiki, who had a Harvard degree and was working for Goldman Sachs at the time. Sonoiki later worked as a writer on the second season of the ABC comedy "Black-ish."

Trump blasts NFL players for kneeling during anthem: 'Stand proudly .... or be suspended without pay'

Both men now face insider trading charges brought by federal prosecutors in Philadelphia.

"Mr. Sonoiki and Mr. Kendricks are alleged to have cheated the markets, cheated other investors and placed themselves above the law," said Bill McSwain, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

In the second half of 2014, court records said Sonoiki sent coded text messages and FaceTime conversations from his desk at Goldman Sachs to tip Kendricks off to corporate mergers.

Kendricks allegedly made $1.2 million in illegal profits by purchasing securities in companies that were soon to be acquired and then selling his positions after the deals were publicly announced. In one instance, he made a nearly 400 percent return on his investment in just two weeks, court records said.

"Mychal Kendricks used material non-public information, provided by his co-defendant, to score significant profits from expected market moves,” said the FBI Special Agent Christian Zajac. "That’s not merely gaming the system—that’s a federal crime."

According to court records, Kendricks rewarded Sonoiki for his tips with cash kickbacks, free NFL tickets and an evening on the set of a pop star’s music video, in which Kendricks made a cameo appearance.

"Kendricks paid cash and shared celebrity perks for illegal tips that enabled him to trade and profit on confidential information that the rest of the investing public didn’t have," said Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement.

Neither Kendricks nor Sonoiki are currently in custody. Kendricks has acknowledged his actions and is cooperating with authorities.

The NFL pro is a sixth year outside linebacker who was drafted out of the University of California, Berkeley. For the first five years of his career, Kendricks played for the Philadelphia Eagles and won the Super Bowl with the team last year before joining the Browns this summer as a free agent.

Kendricks was released by the Browns Wednesday afternoon.

"Prior to signing Mychal, we were informed that there was a financial situation that he had been involved with in 2014. We were told Mychal had fully cooperated with investigators as a victim. From what was communicated at that time and based on the numerous questions we asked and further due diligence on our part, including checking with the league office, there was no information discovered that conveyed otherwise," the team's general manager, John Dorsey, said in a statement.

"Recently, we were provided an update on the matter and the circumstances have changed. We are now dealing with a different set of facts and the additional information we’ve gathered has led us to the decision to release Mychal from our team. Due to the ongoing legal nature of this situation, we will have no further comments," the statement continued.

The Eagles have not returned ABC News' request for comment.

Sonoiki's attorney Mark Wilson, an assistant federal defender, told the Wall Street Journal he will plead guilty. “He was working as an analyst, he overheard information and he passed it on," he said.

ABC News could not reach Sonoiki for comment.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


US Open apologizes for penalizing player who took her shirt off on tennis court

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- U.S. Open officials have apologized for a controversial incident that occurred Tuesday in which a female tennis player was penalized for briefly taking off her shirt on the court during a break amid the sweltering heat and humidity.

Temperatures soared near 100 degrees Fahrenheit in New York City as French player Alize Cornet took on Sweden's Johanna Larsson during the second day of the 2018 U.S. Open. An extreme heat policy was in effect during their match at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, allowing the players a 10-minute break between sets to cool off and hydrate.

When Cornet returned to the court, she seemed to realize that her shirt was on backwards. She quickly pulled up her pink striped top and turned away from the court cameras as she took it off, showing her black and red sports bra underneath. Within seconds, Cornet put her shirt back on the correct way.

The chair umpire overseeing the match immediately hit her with a code violation after the incident. The Women's Tennis Association rulebook states that female players are only permitted to remove or change their clothing while they are off the court at the closest, most private location. There is no such rule for male players.

Many prominent figures in the tennis world subsequently expressed their outrage on Twitter.

Scottish tennis coach Judy Murray, who is the mother of professional tennis player Andy Murray, posted a GIF of the incident alongside a tweet that seemed to question why a woman is barred from changing her shirt on the court when a man can. Her tweet has since been shared thousands of times.

"Alize Cornet came back to court after 10 minute heat break. Had her fresh shirt on back to front. Changed at back of court. Got a code violation. Unsportsmanlike conduct....." Murray tweeted before adding, "But the men can change shirts on court."

Retired Australian tennis player Casey Dellacqua responded to Murray's tweet, writing, "Ridiculous."

American tennis player and Olympic gold medalist Bethanie Mattek-Sands also chimed in: "That's weak!"

Murray responded, "Sure is......"

Other Twitter users didn't mince words and called the incident "sexist."

Cornet went on to lose the match to Larsson in three sets, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6.

Meanwhile, several male players were forced to retire early from their matches this week due to the scorching heat.

U.S. Open officials issued a statement on Wednesday apologizing for the penalty, saying Cornet's attire change was not a code violation.

"All players can change their shirts when sitting in the player chair. This is not considered a Code Violation," the statement said. "We regret that a Code Violation was assessed to Ms. Cornet yesterday. We have clarified the policy to ensure this will not happen moving forward. Fortunately, she was only assessed a warning with no further penalty or fine. Female players, if they choose, may also change their shirts in a more private location close to the court, when available. They will not be assessed a bathroom break in this circumstance."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Serena and Venus Williams reign at the US Open: Inside the 'Williams effect' on tennis

TPN/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Serena Williams and Venus Williams have revolutionized the sport of tennis with their decades of dominance.

The two African-American sisters from Compton, California, blew right past stereotypes of tennis as a “country-club sport” on their way to a combined 30 Grand Slams, and counting.

In their wake, younger African-American female players like Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys have risen to the top of the sport, proving the theory that you can be what you can see.

On the other side, the last male African-American player to win a Grand Slam was Arthur Ashe in the 1970s.

Changing that statistic and making tennis more accessible to people from all backgrounds -- whether they become Grand Slam champions or not -- is the number one goal for Katrina Adams, chairman of the board and president of the United States Tennis Association (USTA).

"From the USTA’s perspective, we want tennis to look like America," said Adams, the first African-American, first former professional tennis player and youngest person to serve as president in the USTA's 135-year history. "From my perspective, I want to see a lot more kids of color have the opportunity to have the same experiences as I did as a professional player and beyond that."

"There’s a lot of talent around the country," she said. "We want to make sure that those kids have the opportunity and the pathways to have a chance to compete and be the best that they can be."

The 'Williams effect' on tennis

The USTA's efforts are on full display as their signature event, the U.S. Open, is underway now in Flushing Meadows, New York.

The leading American contender among the men is Frances Tiafoe, a 20-year-old who grew up in College Park, Maryland, and developed his game with the help of the USTA.

For the women, the Williams sisters are both contenders for the title, as are Stephens and Keys. Stephens won last year's U.S. Open, after beating Keys in the final and Venus Williams in the semifinal.

Serena Williams missed last year's Open after giving birth to her first daughter, Olympia. She is seeded 17th this year and cruised to a 6-4, 6-0 win Monday in the first round.

Another African-American female player, Taylor Townsend, an Atlanta native, scored a first-round victory Tuesday in the U.S. Open and is ranked No. 73 in the world.

"Of course there has been a ‘Williams effect’ on girls playing tennis over the years," Adams said. "They’ve been at this for 20 years and they’ve not only been at it, they’ve been winning and they’ve been the role models for these young girls."

"[Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys] grew up idolizing Venus and Serena, wanting to be like them, and here we are 15 years later where they’re playing as either a Grand Slam champion or in the finals of Grand Slams," she added. "I think we have an opportunity now where Sloane and Madison are those faces for the next generation."

The new players blazing a path in tennis

Robin Montgomery, 13, and Clervie Ngounoue, 12, are two African-American players in the USTA's player development program who saw the success of Venus and Serena Williams and Stephens and Keys and are following in their footsteps.

"I grew up watching all of them," said Clervie, who now trains in Washington, D.C. "They were all an inspiration."

Clervie started playing tennis at age 3 after being introduced to the sport by her dad, a tennis coach in Bowie, Maryland.

She calls it "motivating" to see more players of color in the sport of tennis. Through the USTA, she has had access to mentors like Zina Garrison and Jeri Ingram, two former professional tennis players who are also African-American.

"When they used to play pro, there was no diversity in the game and they had to push through that," Clervie said. "If it was just one race or one kind [playing tennis], I don’t think it would be as fun as it is right now."

She added, "I like that there’s a lot of diversity in tennis because I think it gives kids more confidence to be playing the game."

Robin, who trains in College Park, Maryland, was introduced to tennis at age 4 through a USTA program for kids at public tennis courts.

She credits the USTA for discovering her talent and credits players like the Williams sisters for paving the way in what she sees as still not an incredibly diverse sport.

"It’s definitely getting more diverse but I think it’s still kind of very obvious that tennis is an exclusive sport, for rich people you could say," Robin said. "Definitely having figures like [Serena and Venus] has helped."

She now finds herself blazing her own path as the next generation of diversity in tennis.

"My coach tells me they look up to me," she said of younger players. "Seeing me play, I think, is inspiring them more to keep playing and doing what they can do."

How the USTA is reaching underserved areas

For the USTA and Adams, Robin and Clervie are the dream result of their efforts: Two players who may not have been exposed to tennis were given the chance to develop their skills and now are on the path to the professional ranks.

"We know the importance of diversifying our sport to get the best talent that we can get into our sport," Adams said. "I think if you go across America and watch these kids play, we know that they’re out there, it’s just how do we get them to the next level."

The USTA, under Adams' leadership, is also just as sharply focused on giving all kids the opportunity to play tennis, whether they turn into Grand Slam champions, college athletes with full scholarships or just an adult who learned about life through tennis.

"Tennis really is not about competing as much as it is about developing as an individual," Adams said. "It teaches you life skills, how to build your confidence, your self-esteem, how to deal with adversity, how to manage your time, all the qualities you need to be successful in life."

"We’re trying to erase the stigma that it’s an elitist sport because it’s not. There was a time when it was, but now it’s not," she added.

Adams' top initiative now is to reach people in the Hispanic community, a fast-growing demographic in the United States.

The USTA has developed what they call diversity engagement guides to educate tennis coaches and USTA members on the need for inclusion and how to reach key audiences.

The New York-based organization is also reaching kids in underserved areas through its new Net Generation program that works with schools to provide tennis equipment and training.

The charitable arm of the USTA also runs the Junior Tennis and Learning Network, which has 350 nonprofit youth development organizations offering free and low-cost tennis options, according to an organization spokesperson.

The USTA National Campus plays host each year to the national championships of both Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and the American Tennis Association (ATA), the oldest African-American sports organization.

"For me, it’s not just about African-Americans, it’s about the entire diverse culture that we support, from African-Americans to Asian-Americans, Hispanics, Latinos and the LGBT community," said Adams, who got her start in tennis at age 6 in a summer clinic at a public park. "That’s what’s important for me, to make sure we continue to grow and engage these different cultures."

More to be done

While the USTA has felt the success of the "Williams effect" in drawing more minorities, particularly girls, to tennis, some would like to see even greater outreach at the local level.

Clervie Ngounoue's father, Aime Ngounoue, the tennis coach, said the USTA has "been a lot of help" to his daughter. He would still like to see more outreach for the kids he works with and those across the country.

"The more we have kids involved in tennis, the more we’re going to have champions later on in life," he said. "Not only champions but good kids going to college."

"We have a lot of clubs that are so far away from the National Tennis Center," Ngounoue said. "If they can have the outreach come closer to coaches and the clubs rather than just waiting for the kids who are really, really good already, that can be very, very helpful for those that may be forgotten."

Adams, who has led the USTA since 2015, has pledged that under her leadership, no one will be shut out of tennis.

"Being of color I know what the challenges are for many of these kids, particularly today," she said. "Tennis is a sport for everyone."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


JJ Watt on how the $41 million he raised has helped to rebuild Houston after Hurricane Harvey

Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(HOUSTON) -- Houston Texans star and activist JJ Watt revealed Monday that his foundation raised more than $41 million for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Harvey decimated Houston and the surrounding areas in 2017 with nonstop flooding and destruction. Watt initially set out to raise a few hundred thousand dollars to help.

On Monday, Watt explained that the funds raised over the last year helped pay for the repair and rebuilding of 600 homes and the distribution of more than 26 million meals. The money also helped 10,000 patients receive the medication they needed.

But Watt added that "the work continues."

He has partnered with organizations like Americares, Feeding America and the Boys & Girls Club to continue to help those who are displaced from their homes.

"As I reflect on the events of Hurricane Harvey one year ago, the memories of destruction and devastation remain, but they are accompanied by memories of hope, selflessness and the beauty of the human spirit," Watt said in a statement.

He continued, "I was fortunate enough to witness that generosity first hand, as the fundraiser that I started with a simple goal of $200,000 turned into an unbelievable outpouring of support from people all around the globe. When it was all said and done ... the total amount that was donated and is now hard at work in the community was $41.6 million."

Watt also expressed his gratitude to those who stepped up to help their fellow Americans.

"Every time that I am fortunate enough to witness someone step back into their home for the first time or a child run around on the playground again, I am reminded of the generosity of strangers that helped make it all possible," he said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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