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Sonja Akright, Advocacy Volunteer, Lake Geneva

“By volunteering I have learned more about the disease and about the resources for those impacted.”
Sonja has been involved volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association for over 12 years. She first got involved when her company, Primex Family of Companies, walked in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Walworth County in 2008. Her personal involvement supporting the Walk grew as she became the Co-Captain for her company team in 2009 and has done it ever since, later joined the steering committee, and from 2012-2018 was committee Co-Chair. She is also responsible for the Caregiver Sanctuary at the Walk – a place at the walk where caregivers can come and get information and enjoy a calming place. Sonja even received a special walk award called the “Wally Phillips Spirit Award” for the person that exemplifies giving. The walk is a true family affair, as her son Jackson (10 years old) was the Honorary Walk Chair in 2019.
Sonja and Jackson are also very involved in Advocacy for the Alzheimer’s Association. They have been champions at the Advocate Day in Madison in 2019-2020 as a part of the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM). AIM works to secure policies to overcome Alzheimer’s and other dementia, including increased investment in research, improved care and support and development of approaches to reduce the risk of developing dementia.  “Advocate Day is an amazing experience,” says Sonja. “We meet in breakout sessions, then have individual meetings with Wisconsin legislators. You really feel like you’re making a difference.”
“Volunteering makes my heart feel good,” says Sonja, whose in-laws were both affected by Alzheimer’s. “It’s very scalable to match the amount of time you have to offer. I have kids, work full-time – it’s as much time or as little time as you can put it, but it all makes a difference. I come from the corporate world and volunteering has been an eye-opener for me. Resources are very abundant, but you have to reach out and know where they are.”