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It’s difficult to capture into words just how extraordinary an event Emily’s Dash actually was for all of us. First and foremost, it was a wonderful way to honor the 10-year anniversary of Emily’s passing, and the effect was therapeutic for everyone involved. The idea to hold the event was born from a seed that was planted in a conversation held on Emily’s 21st birthday, July 8, 2011. The sowing and propagation of that seed required lots of work – the digging, watering, and nurturing of many hands. Amazingly and most certainly, it blossomed into a full and beautiful garden and we are still reveling in its success. The latest accounting report indicates that proceeds from the event exceeded $39K.
In a broken world where people encounter tragedies like ours, there is no question that God is evident in the thoughts and actions of human kindness and compassion. The volunteer team that shaped this event included a renowned poet from Atlanta, a website builder in Tennessee, a logo designer in India, a local Chester County non-profit organization that supports fundraising, and a doctor from Cambridge, Massachusetts who represented a meningitis vaccine company in Switzerland. The committee itself was formed from the roots and branches of local friends and family who all knew Emily. We began meeting at the homes of the volunteers involved, and then we used Wegmans for our headquarters so that we didn’t impose on any one individual to host. As time marched forward, the momentum just kept on building.
Reflecting back, one of the most beautiful and unique aspects of this occasion was its continued affirmation that Emily left a lasting impression on many people in this life. The loss of this very special 12-year old child, daughter, grandchild, sister, niece, and friend made a huge impact on many lives, transforming many of us into deeper human beings with a higher level of insight, compassion, and appreciation for life. At the event, one could just feel the love radiating in the room. Extended family attended from Hawaii, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. Circles of friends came from Georgia, Virginia, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. It was a unique opportunity for Emily’s young adult friends to get reacquainted 10 years after their loss, and it gave the girls with roots to Villa Maria Academy a chance to reunite. Many of Emily’s grandparents’ friends gathered to support the event, and even a few of those from her grandfather’s lifelong career of 65 years at a bank in South Philadelphia. Truly remarkable!
We wish to thank each and every person for their part in supporting this very successful event. From the volunteers to the sponsors, donators, and registrants, please accept our deepest appreciation. The kindness of the human heart is powerful and God’s grace continues to manifest in our lives. As we move forward with allocating funds to the legacies established in Emily’s memory, we will keep everyone informed. We are truly grateful to everyone and so very proud of this amazing accomplishment.
Sincerely, Sue & Al Koenig