PFOC Movers and Shakers - 2012 Walk to End Alzheimer's Team
It’s not every day that you come across one individual who goes above and beyond in caring for others, let alone a group of over 110. The Primex Family of Companies is indeed that group of people putting others before themselves as one of the most involved participants of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Walworth County. Since its humble beginnings of 22 team members six years ago, the PFOC Movers and Shakers have become a major influence in the Walworth community and have raised over $80,000 for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
The Movers and Shakers team started when an employee of the Primex Family of Companies suggested that the Walk to End Alzheimer’s be added as a major community service priority for the company, an idea which was readily embraced by company executive Vince Guarna. The mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is one that personally resonated with both Guarna and Sonja Akright, now co-chair of the Walworth County Walk to End Alzheimer’s and one of PFOC’s most involved members. They both had lost close family members to Alzheimer’s.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is popular within the Primex Family of Companies. Fundraising efforts are supported by multiple internal events, including the sale of cookies and flowers for co-workers to give each other, and the publication of a cookbook for employees. Certain Primex divisions that operate as business to consumer entities also feature the Walk to End Alzheimer’s banner on their company websites, allowing customers to contribute to the Alzheimer’s mission, an innovative idea that has gained momentum. PFOC has also expanded their efforts outside of the office and into the community with a local brat house event and a popular pig roast and party featuring a live band, held the Friday before the Walk at Hemingway’s in Lake Geneva.
To recognize their exemplary dedication to the Alzheimer’s Association, the PFOC Movers and Shakers were awarded the prestigious Wally Phillips Spirit Award in 2011, with Vince Guarna and Jon Balicki as executive co-chairs. Jon Balicki currently serves as the executive chair of the Alzheimer’s efforts with Sonja Akright as the team captain. “It was an honor, a huge surprise,” said Sonja. “It really fired up a lot of our employees and got them really engaged. It also meant a lot to me personally, as we were in the midst of losing my husband’s grandfather to this devastating disease.
Andy Kerwin, co-chair of the Walworth County Walk, speaks highly of the Movers and Shakers and what they've contributed to the event. “The support by Primex Family of Companies has been absolutely essential to the exponential growth of the Walworth Walk” said Kerwin. “The PFOC Walk team speaks to the heart of what Walk is all about – coming together for the common mission of ending Alzheimer’s. They are a model company in how they give back to the community and are an inspiration to us all.”
The Primex Family of Companies is an international business headquartered in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and includes Chaney Instrument, Klockit, Primex and Primex Wireless. This year, PFOC has challenged themselves to raise $20,000 and add even more members to their team. The Movers and Shakers is an open team, and invite all community members to participate and join in on the fun. You can find out more about the team and how to join at www.facebook.com/PFOC.movers.shakers.
The PFOC Movers and Shakers are a perfect example of how a little thing can turn into a big thing - and now is a virtual movement to end Alzheimer’s that is making a huge difference in Southeastern Wisconsin.
(left) Vince Guarna, Sonja Akright, and Jon Balicki accept the 2011 Wally Phillips Spirit Award