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Villa Maria Academy Alumnae Newsletter

posted Apr 12, 2013, 1:07 PM by Emily Koenig   [ updated Apr 13, 2014, 6:59 PM by Lorrie Laskey ]
Emily's Dash Event of December 30, 2012 Makes VMA's Alumnae Newsletter



Villa Alums Help to Organize and Attend

On December 30, 2012, at Whitford Country Club, family, friends, and fellow Villa alumnae gathered together to honor the 10th anniversary celebration of the life of former student Emily Grace Koenig ('04), who passed away suddenly at the age of 12 from bacterial meningitis. 

The occasion was beautiful and unique, just like Emily, and it was a perfect opportunity for her fellow classmates to reunite in support of their dear friend 10 years after her passing. Alums Susan Venema ('04), Lany Wenke ('04), and Erin Eife ('04), along with their Villa moms, all attended and assisted with the event. 

"Emily was a dear friend to my daughter, Susan Venema.   Emily and Susan sat next to each other in Mr. Miller's seventh grade class at Villa Maria Academy.  As you can imagine, that tragic December day touched so many lives.  Emily was loved by so many.  Keeping her memory alive was important to us.  So, when we heard about "Emily's Dash" it seemed only natural to participate in an event that would honor Emily.  The end result was over whelming, a night for all to remember ... renewed friendships, shared family love and fund raising for a cause close to all of our hearts.  Emily's Dash was a huge success ... evident that wonderful evening at Whitford Country Club.  Emily's legacy will continue, in our hearts for many years to come.  We were proud to be part of this wonderful event.  Hopefully, all of our efforts will help to find a cure for this dreadful disease," said Mrs. Venema. 

Also in attendance were current and former faculty and students of Villa Maria Academy. Villa former principals, Sister Mary Ellen Tennity IHM and Sister Rosemary Walsh, IHM,  Villa's current principal, Sister Susan Joseph IHM, Villa's second grade teacher, Sister Maureen Ruth IHM, and eighth grader, Megan McCallister ('13), current winner of the Emily Koenig Award. Former winner of the Emily Koenig award, Grace Olenzak ('12) was also present. Among other alumnae present at the event were Holly Funk ('10) and Caitlin McCallister ('08). 

The Emily Grace Koenig Award is presented annually at the Passing of the Light Ceremony to a VMA seventh grade student. The recipient, who exemplifies Emily's values and virtues, is chosen by her classmates.   

When asked about the personal meaning of the award, Mrs. Koenig responded, "Villa Maria holds a special place in our hearts because Emily thrived and blossomed there.  It is our last "school" memory of her.  By presenting students with this annual award, we feel great joy at being able to carry on her legacy at Villa and stay connected with the school. It has become a highly respected award in the school community which also means a lot to us.  Each year, the students selected to receive the award have been wonderful, and the sisters, the recipients, and their families very appreciative.  We are grateful for this opportunity to make a positive difference in Emily's memory."

 Proceeds from the fundraiser netted approximately $40,000 and went to the Emily's Dash Foundation. The Emily's Dash Foundation is dedicated to supporting charitable efforts that relate to the life of Emily Grace Koenig (7/8/90 - 12/11/02).

Check out the photo presentation under Events, An Evening's Stroll through Paris.


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