Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg surprised a family in Ohio by dropping in for dinner as part of his ambitious 2017 resolution to meet and listen to people in every US state by the end of the year. The Moore family, of Newton Falls, said they learned that their planned mystery dinner guest would be the billionaire tech executive just 20 minutes before dinner on Friday (28 April).
Daniel Moore told WKBN that he got a call a week before asking him if he would like to have dinner with a "very wealthy philanthropist in California" whose product is used by 90% of Americans. Zuckerberg reportedly asked his staff to find Democrats in a swing state who voted for President Donald Trump in the election last year. Moore voted for Barack Obama twice but heavily campaigned and voted for Trump in November.
However, Moore said the conversation at dinner was not dominated by politics. He said they also discussed some of Zuckerberg's philanthropic initiatives.
Moore and his wife Lisa talked about their work with the Kisiizi Good Shepherd Orphanage in Uganda. He said Zuckerberg was now planning a fundraiser to benefit the orphans.
"It was completely incredible," Moore told The Vindicator. "He cares very much about family and about community. And he's taking steps to do a lot of very positive things with his money... We got to know a very cool guy. Just down-to-earth and real easy to talk to."
Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post: "Just got into Ohio. Thanks to Dan and Lisa Moore for welcoming me into your home for a wonderful dinner!"
"It was a great meal and great conversation," he added in a comment. "I appreciate their hospitality."
The surprise dinner visit comes as part of Zuckerberg's "personal challenge" for 2017 to meet and talk to people in every state across the US this year.
"After a tumultuous last year, my hope for this challenge is to get out and talk to more people about how they're living, working and thinking about the future," Zuckerberg said earlier this year. "My work is about connecting the world and giving everyone a voice. I want to personally hear more of those voices this year.
"It will help me lead the work at Facebook and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative so we can make the most positive impact as the world enters an important new period."
His visit has also fuelled mounting speculation that the 32-year-old tech titan may one day run for political office and possibly make a bid for the White House. He previously denied the rumours saying he was focused on "building our community at Facebook" and working on the CZI.
In September last year, Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan pledged at least $3bn (£2.32bn) over the next decade to "cure, prevent or manage" all diseases by the end of the century.
In December, unsealed court filings revealed that Zuckerberg sought to be allowed to serve two years in government without losing control of Facebook. Prompted by questions over his religious beliefs after he posted a holiday message in December, Zuckerberg revealed that he was no longer an atheist and that he believes "religion is very important".
Last week, Zuckerberg visited a Ford factory in Detroit, spoke to Muslim students at the University of Michigan, and people recovering from drug addiction and drove around South Bend, Indiana, with Mayor Pete Buttigieg, one of the youngest mayors in the US. He also visited a fire department in Indiana, a farm in Wisconsin and sought recommendations for the best brat in Madison, Wisconsin.
"The world needs more men like Mark," Moore wrote in a Facebook post alongside pictures of the surprise dinner. "I pray that the Lord is with Mark Zuckerberg and guides the steps of his life as he works to accomplish his goals."