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NCSU grad is finalist for CNN Hero award

Posted November 5, 2009

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— A North Carolina State University graduate is one of ten finalists for CNN’s Hero of the Year award, which recognizes ordinary people who have had an extraordinary impact on the world.

Doc Hendley, 30, founded Wine to Water, a non-profit organization that helps install water systems around the world for people who don’t have access to clean water.

Hendley had the idea for the non-profit while bartending and playing music at nightclubs around Raleigh in 2003. While working at the Hibernian on Glenwood Avenue, Hendley organized wine tasting fundraisers and saved up tens of thousands of dollars.

NCSU grad is finalist for CNN Hero award Raleigh man is finalist for CNN award

An international relief group hired him and advised him to use his money where it was most needed.

“When I realized that 1.1 billion people in the world don’t have access to clean water…when I found that stuff out and then I realize that nobody really knew about that, I was completely shocked,” Hendley said.

Wine to Water held its first fundraiser in January 2004 and by August of that year Hendley was installing water systems in Darfur, Sudan.

“I had no idea that I’d be living in a place like Darfur for a year, going to places like Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Cambodia,” he said.

Since then, Hendley’s organization has helped provide water for 120,000 people.

“Doc has definitely changed the world,” Wine to Water volunteer Ubie Sullivan said.

Hendley now works full-time for his non-profit.

The winner of CNN's Hero of the Year award will receive $100,000.

Voting continues online until Nov. 18 and the winner will be announced on Nov. 26 at 9 p.m. on CNN.

13 Comments

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  • jprime Nov 6, 2009

    Glad to be a member of the pack with this guy!

  • budpenny Nov 5, 2009

    Thanks Doc. Many have lived without love not one has lived without water.

  • bob1974 Nov 5, 2009

    I looked at the other nominees. Unless I'm wrong it looks like what this guy has done has by far impacted the most people worldwide. He's got my vote!

  • familyfour Nov 5, 2009

    What a smart peach he is :)

  • rjsulliv Nov 5, 2009

    LOVIN THIS STORY!!! GOOD JOB DOC! Raleigh is proud of you!

  • beaker Nov 5, 2009

    I noticed when I voted that you can vote as many times as you would like!! Thats awesome....be sure to get the word out if you can! How cool would it be if a local guy won this!!!!

  • beaker Nov 5, 2009

    WOW!!!! GREAT STORY! I went to this guys first fundraiser back in 2004 (2003?) in downtown Raleigh....I remember he played guitar and told people about the water crisis....it was a really fun event! Who knew it would grow to this! Im definately going to vote for this guy...he truely embodies a heroic spirit and shows us all that EVERYONE can do something to make a difference!

  • gov watchdog Nov 5, 2009

    Doc - you are a fine representative for NC and the US. Great job.

  • sssh.. whisper Nov 5, 2009

    Great story! Good luck Doc. Regardless if you "win' or not.. you have already won by doing an awesome thing for communities around the world by giving the best gift anyone could receive your TLC.

  • NCPACKER Nov 5, 2009

    Good luck Doc! Shame we don't have more folks like him the World today! I'm going to vote for him on CNN now!

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