AFA Junior Committee
When Alex and Chris Barnet were growing up on Long Island, their friends always mixed company with the brothers' grandfather, George R. Irvin. With George at the lead, the group would go out to dinner or play golf together.
“He was one of the guys,” recalled Alex Barnet, a vice president at The First American Corporation, New York. Now, the Barnets' friends—and other young professionals—have been gathering for more than merely social intentions: they make up the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) Junior Committee, which is dedicated to ensuring that young adults play an active role in raising awareness of a disease that primarily affects the elderly.
The Barnets founded the AFA Junior Committee in 2004 as a tribute to their grandfather, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2002 and since passed away in 2008. The committee kicked off its formation with a fundraising event in New York City in September 2005, attracting hundreds of young adults and successfully raising funds to support AFA's care-focused programs and services nationwide.
According to Alex Barnet, it was natural to turn to their childhood friends to help build the Junior Committee. “They've seen what Alzheimer's disease has done to a man who was once so full of life, so they understand what other families across America are going through,” he said.
“It's important for younger generations to carry forth AFA's commitment to care for people with this devastating disease,” he added.
Building on its initial success, the AFA Junior Committee has continued to host annual cocktail receptions in New York City, and since it has established Junior Committees in other cities— Nashville, Los Angeles, Palm Beach, Boston and Dallas in the U.S. and in Toronto, Canada as well.