You know her for her moving singing voice during the Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup Playoff run.
Sonya Bryson-Kirksey is known to many as the woman on the jumbo-tron, singing the National Anthem before the Tampa Bay Lightning home games. A now-retired Air Force Sergeant, Sonya moved to Tampa Bay in 2011 from an assignment in South Korea to be stationed at MacDill Air Force Base. She sang the National Anthem for the first time in public in 2003, while assigned to Air Force Recruiting Service, at a training conference and has continued to share her voice across the country and abroad.
Singing, however, is just a small part of her incredible life.
In 2015, nearing the end of her 20 years of serving in the Air Force, and after a myriad of unexplained medical symptoms, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Sonya shares, "The beginning was tough and a little scary." But with the help of Tampa neurologists, newly FDA approved medications and the support of her husband and family, she is adjusting perfectly well and seeing marked improvements in her health.
Sonya has performed the anthem in public more than a thousand times and has lent her talents to other local area events, such as the opening of the Tampa Bay outlets, UMA graduation ceremonies, Florida Medical and Polo Classic annual fundraisers and the Tampa Heart Walk. These days she is taking her pipes to a national level; using her celebrity to bring awareness to MS through her own charity. The Sonya Bryson Voices of Hope Foundation strives to lend a voice and sometimes a hand to those with MS, who can’t speak or sing for themselves.