Just before Wednesday’s spaghetti dinner fundraiser at Auburn Middle School, former Gov. John Baldacci met Barbara Hinckley for the first time in the kitchen where he’d been stirring 17 gallons of sauce. Steve Collins/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

AUBURN — A 95-year-old Auburn woman who lost her life savings to a scam last summer wound up getting most of the money back from her community.

Family members said Barbara Hinckley got about $18,000 from a spaghetti dinner fundraiser spearheaded by former Gov. John Baldacci.

Marsha Donahue of Millinocket, Hinckley’s daughter, called the response amazing on Friday.

Hinckley lost at least $16,000 last summer to a grifter who convinced her she’d won second prize in the Publisher’s Clearing House contest. She kept sending small amounts of money as supposed necessities to collect her $2.5 million and a Mercedes-Benz.

Hinckley said she’s not sure what she’ll do with the cash, but she won’t have the ability to spending much of it without first getting her family’s approval. She said she won’t fall victim again.

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