Advocating for education, vaccination, and eradication.
About the Foundation
Emily’s Dash Foundation (EDF) is a non-profit entity organized under the auspices of the Chester County Community Foundation (CCCF), EIN 23-2773822. Created by her parents, Albert and Susan Koenig, in 2003, EDF seeks to honor the memory of their daughter, Emily Grace Koenig, who passed away suddenly from bacterial meningitis at the young age of 12.
EDF is committed to making an impact in the lives of others by carrying on Emily’s legacy causes for charitable giving. Our funding activities are directed towards the following causes listed below.
Eradication of bacterial meningitis.
Worldwide, approximately 170,000 victims die annually from bacterial meningitis, and many more are left with lifelong afflictions such as amputations, brain damage, organ failures, and loss of hearing. This disease is global and the consequences are most tragic in infants, children, and adolescents. The Koenig family successfully lobbied the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote the meningitis vaccination to younger children (the recommended age for the vaccination was moved down to 12 years of age). Previously, the vaccine had not been recommended.
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Fundraising To-Date - Meningitis Efforts
- Confederation of Meningitis Associations / Meningitis Research Foundation / World Health Organization
Defeating Meningitis by 2030 project.
- Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (COMO)
Capacity building to tackle meningitis worldwide.
- National Institute of Health (NIH)
Low cost, early detection kit for discrimination of gram negative meningococcal meningitis bacteria.
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
Vaccine Center, Paul Offit, M.D.
- Global Alliance for Vaccines & Immunizations (GAVI)
Vaccine dissemination in Africa, known as the “meningitis belt.”
- National Meningitis Association (NMA)
Public education and awareness.
- Meningitis Angels
Victim and family support, community programs, vaccine legislation.
Support of anti-bullying, diversity, and childhood literacy efforts.
As a young author, Emily imparted an important message in a book she wrote and illustrated in the sixth grade at Villa Maria Academy. The Tallest Leprechaun teaches a lesson about diversity, acceptance, and inclusion. Emily’s message continues to inspire children as well as adults, changing lives for years to come.
Fundraising To-Date - Anti-Bullying Efforts
Just prior to her passing, Emily wrote and illustrated a children’s story called, The Tallest Leprechaun, which 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 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.
Perpetuation of annual scholarship awards at Villa Maria Academy.
Beyond its 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.
Fundraising To-Date - Annual Scholarships
Congratulations to our past recipients of the Emily Koenig Sprit Award!
- 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
- 2020 – Payton Denneny
- 2021 – Avery Steltz