The celebration began with a drum call by the African American Dance Ensemble as more than 170 people gathered to celebrate the life and legacy of Stop Hunger Founder, Ray Buchanan, on September 25 at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, NC.
Buchanan has dedicated his life to ending hunger, an epidemic that affects 795 million people throughout the world. Every night, one in nine people across the globe goes to bed hungry. “Seeing a starving child is terrifying,” Buchanan said. “Seeing the parents of a starving child is even more terrifying. I know. I have held far too many malnourished and starving children in my arms.”
An ordained United Methodist minister and former U.S. Marine who served in Vietnam, Buchanan founded or co-founded three charities that over the past three decades have made a huge difference in the lives of hungry people. Stop Hunger Now hosted the benefit to honor Buchanan’s work, raising more than $133,000 to continue Buchanan’s vision of ending hunger by providing food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable people, and by creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.
The event featured a keynote speech by Tony P. Hall, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Culture and former member of the U.S House of Representative from Ohio. Other speakers at the event included Mike Giancola, Associate Vice Provost for Student Leadership and Engagement at North Carolina State University; Mike Ward, MEWs Educational Consulting and former state superintendent of public instruction of North Carolina; Jeff Truitt, an attorney in the corporate and commercial groups at Smith Anderson; and Rod Brooks, President and CEO of Stop Hunger Now.
The evening was capped by a performance by the African American Dance Ensemble dedicated to Buchanan and his work. The Ensemble, based in Durham, NC, celebrates traditional African culture, aesthetics and values to encourage cross-cultural dialogue, cooperation and understanding.