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4The Tar Heel Thursday, May 29, 1986
WE'RE FIGHTING FOR YOUR LIFE
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00 .hsunds held in MsiMglh
By CATHERINE COWAN
About 2,500 people joined hands
to encircle the Capitol Building in
downtown Raleigh Sunday in an
effort to raise money for the hungry
and homeless. Held in conjunction
with Hands Across America, Hands
Across the Capital was co
sponsored by the Food Bank of
North Carolina and WRAL.
The day's events lasted from noon
until about 4 p.m. with speeches,
balloons, bluegrass and gospel
music and children climbing on
statues, in addition to the actual
forming of the chain. For a donation
of $10 or more, participants could
buy a commemorative T-shirt.
The chain was formed at 3 p.m.,
the same time Hands Across Amer
ica formed its chain. People rocked
back and forth and held their hands
up in the air as they sang, "Hands
Across America," "We Are the
. World," and "America the Beauti
ful," which were broadcast
nationally over the radio.
"We got our idea to do this
because Hands Across America was
not coming through North Carol
ina," said Marilyn McNeely, com
munity relations coordinator of the
Food Bank. "Hunger is a problem
here. We wanted to say we recog
nized it and wanted to do something
about it. We couldn't sit and twiddle
our thumbs because we are not on
the route," she said.
Before the chain was formed, the
crowd listened to several speakers,
including WRAL-TV news anchor
man Charlie Gaddy, North Carolina
Lt. Gov. Robert B. Jordan III,
Raleigh Mayor Avery C. Upchurch
and executive director of the Food
Bank Gregory W. Kirkpatrick.
"Today we perform a ritual," said
Kirkpatrick. "We join hands and
pass peace with people all over
America. We represent a wall of love
and concern and a line of hope.
Hunger has no home, no haven."
"What we are doing today is
significant in several ways. First it
has raised the issue again in people's
minds. Second, it has raised money
for the Food Bank in Raleigh. But
the most important reason we are
here is symbolic action. The role we
play today is symbolic," Kirkpatrick
Kirkpatrick said hunger anywhere
in North Carolina diminishes all of
North Carolina." "We are here to
express an abiding concern for
North Carolinians who do not have
what we have. We must together
work creatively toward a long term
solution to hunger in North Carol-
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In his speech before the chain was
formed, Upchurch said everyone
should take the event as a personal
challenge to commit themselves to
"1 want to hear from you in the
next few months what you have
done and 111 tell you what IVe
done," he said.
Jordan said in his speech that the .
human chain around the capital was
symbolic of touching and giving.
"We have a reputation as a nation
and state of people who care and
give to others. Next year I'd like to
see a chain not just reaching around
the Capital but around a larger
portion of this state," he said.
McNeely said she was very
pleased with the turnout at the
capital. "It really worked. People
came and it was an unbroken chain.
1 couldn't be happier," she said.
Michael Robinson, a volunteer
for Hands Across the Capital and
Agency Relations Coordinator for
Food Bank, was also excited by the
day's events. "It's one thing to think
of it and plan it. It's another for it
to actually happen. It will help us
tremendously, and not just the
money but the awareness," he said.
Participants also seemed pleased
with Hands Across the Capital. "It
gives you a really good feeling to
know that there are that many
people who care," said Kathy Eck
hardt of Raleigh. "IVe been here
since 1 1:30 and have enjoyed myself
thoroughly," she said.
Susan Schrag of Raleigh said she
was very excited by the event. "I'm
wondering if they will all reach
hands throughout the country. Here
it's great to almost double around
"I think it's good,", said Heidi
Mabey, an exchange student from
Germany living with Schrag.
While Hands Across the Capital
was taking place in Raleigh, the
Associated Press reports that other
parts of North Carolina were hold
ing their own events. Over 4,500
people joined hands to create a five
mile chain from Beaverdam to
Biltmore in Hands Across Asheville,
while Hands Across Charlotte had
3,000 participants coming out des
pite rain and hail. 500 to 1,000
people joined hands in Dare County,
but this number was far short of the
10,000 tourists and residents organ
izers had hoped would encircle Cape
Hatteras Lighthouse and stretch for
2 miles down the beach.
The money Hands Across the
Capital raised will be divided
between the Food Bank and three
other area social service organiza
tions, Durham Urban Ministeries,
the Capital Area Food Coalition
and the Interfaith Council for Social
Services in Chapel Hill, McNeely
said. It will take Food Bank a couple
of weeks to determine exactly how
much was raised.
A food bank is a clearinghouse
for donated food, Robinson said.
Food Bank of North Carolina
receives donations of surplus food
from major food corporations and
other donors and distributes it to 1 SO
local social service organizations
which distribute it to the needy and
homeless. These organizations
include soup kitchens, shelters for
the homeless, orphanages, elderly
feeding programs and churches that
have programs for feeding the
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