Emily’s Dash Foundation

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For that dash represents all the time Emily spent alive on earth… 

And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

“For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars…the house…the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.”

An excerpt from: “The Dash”,  Linda Ellis


About Emily

Emily Grace Koenig will be remembered for her great personality and an inherent dedication to all that she tackled in life. “For the 12 years she graced us with her presence, she impacted many – her family, her teachers, any her many friends from schools, gymnastics, and summer camps. She was a positive, polite, thoughtful, and passionate child, both in her relationships with others and in her work ethics,” says her mother, Sue Koenig. “She had a big heart, an engaging smile, an embracing demeanor, and a keen sense of humor. She enjoyed learning, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends. She was at the heart of many wonderful vacations in Ocean City, NJ; Hilton Head Island, NC; Marco Island, FL; Disneyworld, FL; and Paris, France.”

While attending Villa Maria Academy in Malvern, Pa, she thrived as a student and developed a strong Christian faith. She was a vivacious, healthy seventh grader, a gymnast, and she dabbled at tennis, track, and lacrosse. In the 6th grade, she wrote and illustrated a special book, The Tallest Leprechaun, with an important message about the gifts that flow from embracing our differences. “Emily was driven to do well – academically, athletically and spiritually,” says her father, Al Koenig.

On Dec. 7, 2002, she went shopping in a local nursery with her dad to buy plants for a school science project. She never completed the experiment. While in the store, another customer inadvertently sneezed on her, exposing her to a deadly strain of bacterial meningitis.

She died four days later with virtually no warning. Her symptoms started as a cold and then turned flu-like after a couple of days. The flu was going around and little did her parents or doctor know that in hours she would be dead. Later, when her father recalled the sneezing incident and associated its timing with that of the incubation period, he became painfully aware that a moment of being at the wrong place and the wrong time resulted in Emily’s death.

Emily’s family started their fundraising efforts to educate people about bacterial meningitis and to provide seed money for research to fight this deadly disease. Since establishing the funds, the Koenig’s have successfully lobbied the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote the vaccination to younger children, like Emily, who previously were not recommended to receive the vaccine. The Koenigs continue to support efforts for bacterial meningitis awareness, vaccinations and research.

Visit www.emilysdash.org to find out more about Emily,
and check out the Emily’s Dash Foundation.

September 2021 Support

Emily’s Dash Foundation is honored to support the YMCA of Greater Brandywine GymCats Campaign for a training center.

CoMO Global Conference 2019

Emily’s Dash Foundation supported the Confederation of Meningitis Organisation’s (CoMO) 2019 global conference in London. The conference brought together CoMO members from all parts of the world with sessions led by experts in their respective fields. “Focusing on the progress made so far in meningitis advocacy and the promising road ahead, this conference was one of our biggest to date, with 46 delegates from 17 different countries attending.” Click here to learn more.

Please reference and visit for updates:


Make checks payable to:

Emily’s Dash Foundation c/o CCCF
28 West Market Street
West Chester, PA 19382