Local groups help scammed WWII veteran

March 27, 2013 5:38:28 AM PDT
A World War II veteran who was scammed out of just about everything he owned is receiving help from other vets.

The founder of Wish Upon a Hero presented Ray White with a $500 check on Tuesday. Not a fortune for many people, but a lot when you've lost everything like Ray White.

"It's really just amazing," said White.

It was a touching moment for the World War II Air Force veteran.

Ten days ago Melvin Mcilwaine was arrested for scamming 88-year-old Ray White.

Police say Mcilwaine befriended Ray and over several months ended up stealing his home, cash, and two classic cars, including a 1964 Bentley.

The former stock broker had no idea he was signing over his house until he went home and found a trucking company hauling out his belongings.

Since the Action News exclusive report aired last week, people have been trying to help the WWII vet.

Dave Girgenti set up his website WishUponaHero.com after 9-11 to help people like Ray.

"I wanted to help out and what I did was rallied all of our members, and in about 24 hours we raised $500 dollars," said Girgenti.

Ray is in a rehabilitation facility after breaking his hip, but he needs a home.

In addition to Wish Upon a Hero, the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service and Education Center has set up a fund. So far, the non-profit has raised nearly a thousand dollars through their website pvmsec.org.

"The Philadelphia Veteran Multi-Service and Education Center is indeed there for him," said Lincoln Strehle. "The community is behind him, and we are raising money to support Ray in his struggle."

"There are bad people in the world, but also a lot of good people. Don't forget it," said Girgenti.