WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Wilmington photographer Matt Ray will leave next week to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness about gender violence and sex trafficking.
Ray will go with WE International, a non-profit group dedicated to ending the problem.
The father and Wilmington native said he want to do it for his daughter and to shed light on the issue that happens right in his own community.
"It is a little known fact that Wilmington is one of the highest ranked places for human trafficking," said Ray. "Top ten from the last time I checked. That is one of those things that about this beautiful towns that we live in. It is easy to ignore, but also just to go through life and not realize what is happening around you."
Ray has climbed mountains before, but none the size of Kilimanjaro.
"Now it is a week and a half away, and part of me is like what in the world are we thinking," said Ray. "The other part of me is ready for it. I have been training as best I can as best as a person can for not having oxygen at 19,500 feet."
The group will leave on March 1.
There will have one final fundraiser on Thursday at the Sour Barn on Market St. starting at 6 p.m.