SELDEN, N.Y. – (CBSNewYork) – A disabled marine in a wheelchair, but filled with boundless energy for life, said Friday he has a new outlook and gratitude to the community around him.
His neighbors, volunteers and donors surprised him with a brand new house, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
“Nervousness, ecstatic, happiness, sadness, it’s everything,” retired Marine Lance Corporal William “Billy” Ventura said.
Three years into his marine service, Ventura was on home leave. On a road one mile from his family’s home, he was the victim of a hit-and-run. The accident severed his lower spine and he lost his ability to walk.
“He has never given up,” said Ventura’s mother, Cynthia.
“It’s truly an experience beyond words,” said Ventura’s father, Bill.
An entire Selden community, volunteers, donors and the Bolla Charity Foundation awarded her paralyzed son with a brand new, state of the art, custom built home.
“Speechless. It blows my mind,” Billy Ventura said.
“People giving lives to saving other people, then I decided that day that I need to contribute to this good cause,” said Harry Singh, president and CEO of the Bolla Oil Corporation.
“It takes more than just a village,” Billy Ventura said.
Bolla Charity partnered with Building Homes For Heroes to change lives and make independence possible.
“There’s a lot that I can’t do, but the house now will allow me to. I have a great future,” Billy Ventura said.
“He truly is a hero to me and to see how far he’s come,” said his mother.
“Thank you, thank you, but there’s heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice,” Billy Ventura said.
Dozens of companies, military volunteers and local community organizations donated and worked together for more than nine months to surprise Ventura.
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