Free Beer & Hot Wings raise $2,200 for Grand Rapids Home for Veterans

10:04 PM, Jul 18, 2013   |    comments
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(July 18, 2013)

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Monday's 13 On Your Side investigation on panhandling is getting a lot of attention on multiple social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.

It also got the attention of the Free Beer and Hot Wings Show, a nationally-syndicated radio program originating from WGRD-FM in Grand Rapids.

RELATEDSpecial report on panhandling in West Michigan

In the investigation, we heard from one panhandler named Rudy; he asked people for money while pretending to be a veteran. Rudy later admitted to WZZM 13 that he is not a veteran.

When Free Beer and Hot Wings heard about the story, they sent one of their producers to the spot where Rudy typically panhandles and held a sign letting passersby know about Rudy's scam.

The story also inspired the Free Beer and Hot Wings show to a hold a fundraiser Thursday morning for real veterans. Two of the producers set up a tent at Pearl Street and U.S. 131, the same intersection where Rudy typically panhandles, to panhandle themselves

The money they raise is going to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

"I was kind of surprised how many people are actually not telling the truth about it, and the one about Rudy actually really caught my attention because I'm a vet myself, and I don't like to see that. It really upsets me," said Terry Foote, who donated money to Free Beer & Hot Wings' cause.

The radio show team raised nearly $2,200 in three hours, with Rudy, the homeless panhandler nowhere in sight.

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