In Press Releases

Annual CEO Sleep Out Focuses on “Making Invisible Issues Visible”

MORRISVILLE, NC (September 8, 2014) September 11th is a day of remembrance for our country, an opportunity for us to set ourselves aside and engage in service. For United Way of the Greater Triangle and business leaders from across the area, that will mean spending the night outside on cardboard flats. The annual CEO Sleep Out is designed to elevate unseen issues in our community by “Making Invisible Issues Visible” including hunger, homelessness and poverty.

“This is an uncommon event in which we experience for one night what it might be like to be hungry and homeless so that we can bring awareness to these issues,” said Mack Koonce, president and CEO of United Way of the Greater Triangle.  “It is also a good environment for a community conversation about how we can actually work together to solve them.”

In addition to spending the night outside, participants will get a deeper understanding of the many facets of hunger by engaging in extensive roundtable discussion with experts representing the social impacts of childhood hunger and poverty.

“This year we will see the power of ideas and collaboration,” added Koonce.  “It is a unique way to kick off our campaign season by focusing on the issues we are addressing.”

The agenda also includes presentations from the four finalists in the Social Innovation Challenge—100,000 Kids Hungry No More.  The finalists include:

  • Durham Public School System
  • Grocers on Wheels
  • Pennies 4 Progress
  • Yes2Fresh

After watching the finalists pitch their innovative ideas to help address childhood hunger, the CEOs and business leaders will award a special separate $5,000 CEO Selects prize. 

The event takes place in the grass lot next to DPAC and begins at 7 pm on September 11 and lasts through the night until the morning of September 12.

The Social Innovation Challenge winner will be chosen by a panel of experts and will receive a $50,000 award that will be announced on September 17.

Media is invited to attend the CEO Sleep Out, please contact Chris Pfitzer for scheduling at


About United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT)

By working with nonprofit partners, corporations, community and county leaders, along with thousands of volunteers and donors, United Way of the Greater Triangle is creating significant community change in Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake counties in North Carolina through an emphasis on achieving specific results and developing lasting solutions to some of our area’s most pressing issues. 


Learn more about UWGT’s work at or find out about volunteer opportunities at