CHARLOTTE – The Mint Hill community has many amazing citizens. Among these people are a special group of outstanding individuals who are always willing to go above and beyond. Wendy Sonsire is one of those outstanding individuals. She is not only one of the sweetest and most kind-hearted women that you will ever meet; she also makes sure to spread her love throughout the community. Wendy is very active in the Historical Society and Mint Hill Farmers Market along with being a passionate supporter of the Alzheimer’s Association. She honors her late mother with the promise to help provide the much-needed resources to the community to understand, support, and help create a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
Wendy Sonsire holds a very special place in her heart for the Alzheimer’s Association. She lost her mother in a battle to the disease. In her memory, Wendy makes it one of her missions to show the association her support. Each year she fundraises to support the Alzheimer’s Association Charlotte Walk. In a typical year, teams would raise money by walking together at a location and documenting the length of the walk. This year has been different for most events, and the ALZ Charlotte Walk was no different. Being the outstanding citizen that she is, Wendy and her family would not let the current situation stop them from raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Association in 2020.
Wendy and her family own the Ponderosa Farm. The Ponderosa Farm holds a special place in many families’ hearts throughout the community. The farmland has been given to the community for many generations. The produce that is grown from the farm is sold at the Mint Hill Farmers Market by Wendy’s family. They absolutely love being able to provide the community with produce that is grown with love.
The Sonsire family feels very lucky to be a part of the community of Mint Hill and the owners of the Ponderosa Farm. With this pride and Wendy’s passion for supporting the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association, they thought what better way to raise money in 2020 for the association than bringing the two together? That is when the idea of the “Lazy Triathlon” was born. The Lazy Triathlon was an idea that the Sonsire family put together to allow participants to engage in hand-ons activities, if they wished, during the walk. The farm hosted the team walk for their fundraising event. The walk toured the team around the farm, where they could participate in an activity at six different stations. The axe throwing station was one of the most popular events.
Once the walk ended at the part of the farm where the animals are, participants were able to enjoy interacting with animals. Each station had proper safety precautions as safety was a top priority. An environment was created not only to allow walkers to participate in an event that raised money for a very special cause, but also to make sure that safety was the highest priority of everyone. Each year more and more participants join Wendy’s Team. Each event hosts more participants than the past ones, and for returning participants Wendy honors each of them personally with a special gift. The association is very close to her heart, and she wants to ensure that the community always has the resources to educate about the disease. During the 2020 Lazy Triathlon, her team was able to raise over $4,500; plus, all the proceeds from their farmers market also went to the association.
Alzheimer’s Association Charlotte Walk was a success again this year. The association wants to pass on this message to Wendy and all the other participants that make events like these so successful. “Many thanks to our Walk supporters, like Wendy and her team, for their hard work and efforts in making this year’s event a success in spite of the obstacles this year has brought to our community,” said Katherine L. Lambert, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter. “We appreciate everyone creatively taking their own steps against Alzheimer’s disease and to raise critical funds for Alzheimer’s research and local support services.”