Meningitis Efforts

To date, funds have been directed to the following:

  1. Collaboration with CoMO (Confederation of Meningitis Organisations) – capacity building to tackle meningitis worldwide
  2. NIH (National Institute of Health) RO1 - low cost early detection kit for discrimination of gram negative meningococcal meningitis bacteria 
  3. CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) - Vaccine Center, Paul Offit, M.D. 
  4. GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines) - vaccine dissemination in Africa, known as the “meningitis belt” 
  5. NMA (National Meningitis Association) - public education & awareness
  6. Meningitis Angels - victim & family support, community programs, vaccine legislation
Future efforts include:
  1. Support projects to deliver the WHO’s “Defeating Meningitis by 2030" project
  2. Support early detection research and methods

Anti-Bullying:The Tallest Leprechaun

Just prior to her passing, Emily wrote and illustrated a children's story called, The Tallest Leprechaun, which, upon reflection, her parents had published by Little Treasures Books in 2003. The story teaches a lesson about coping with diversity and differences; the walls that children and adults put up to separate themselves from others who are perceived as different, difficult, or less desirable. It encourages all of us to reflect on who we are and the hurt that can be imposed by our actions. We become more sensitive to the plight of the less fortunate, more aware of bullying and its consequences, and see the benefit of treating others with respect. This was Emily’s gift to be shared.

Originally, 10,000 books were published and all proceeds have supported anti-bullying, diversity, and childhood literacy efforts.  In conjunction with the publishing of the book, an anti-bullying program (with a 6'7" volunteer who dressed up as a leprechaun) was presented in local schools, libraries and bookstores.  Books have been sold through Barnes & Noble and purchased through several other fundraising efforts. The Tallest Leprechaun has been distributed and donated to many individuals, grade schools, libraries, and classrooms across the country.  Funding has also been provided to support the efforts of the Childhood Education Coalition of Chester County (CECCC), a local organization that focuses on quality programs for early childhood education and care.  Informational brochures about bacterial meningitis are enclosed in all books distributed.  

Annual Scholarship: Villa Maria Scholarships

Beyond just a monetary award, the annual Emily Koenig Spirit Award has become a true honor for its seventh grade recipient each year. The award focuses on good character, leadership, and citizenship, all qualities that Emily demonstrated during her brief lifetime here on earth.

Names of Recipients

  • 2009 – Michaela McCool 
  • 2010 – Holly Funk 
  • 2011 – Grace Olenzak 
  • 2012 – Megan McCallister
  • 2013 - Carly Brogan
  • 2014 - Madeline Krumenacher

  • 2015 - Grace Astolfi
  • 2016 - Mikayla Millison
  • 2017 - Annie Shaw
  • 2018 - Makenna Walko
  • 2019 - Gabriella Lucarelli