emily marler family

From Pain to Empowerment: One Mother’s Mission To Keep Her Daughter’s Story Alive

If you haven’t yet heard of Emily and Karen’s story, feel free check out our first article on Karen’s Garden.


In 2016, Campaign One At A Time lost their second campaign child, Emily Marler. Like all other campaign children, Emily and her family had become part of the OAAT family.

Emily’s mom Karen, like all other moms has done everything in her power to honor Emily’s legacy and show everyone the amazing person she was.

Karen started a scholarship in order to honor her daughter at the high school she would have graduated from this in May of 2018. The scholarship has been introduced to two different schools as the “Emily Marler Memorial 2018 Cordova High School Scholarship.”

The surrounding community has been immensely helpful in supporting Karen through the entire process. Watching Emily graduate from the same high school as Karen was an event Karen had looked forward to for Emily’s whole life.

The scholarship helps Karen keep Emily’s story going and, in some ways, allows Emily to be apart of what would have been her graduating class.

In order to gather enough funds for the scholarships, Karen did a series of different fundraisers.

Her most successful fundraiser was her “flocking” fundraiser. Karen, along with some of Emily’s friends and family helped place flamingos in people’s yards. Once the flamingos were placed, the homeowners would then choose another friend or family member to “flock” and the flock of flamingos would move on from home to home.

Support ranged from neighbors, friends, families, and even the surrounding schools, which helped raised $2,000.

During October, Karen kept up hers and Emily’s love for Halloween and remembered the joy they both found in decorating the holiday.

From that joy, sprouted the idea of opening a haunted house for Halloween; which was quite successful thanks to the help of Emily’s friends and surrounding friends of the family.

Another way that Karen and friends and family were able to come together was by planning two separate yard sales that also helped raise money. Karen received several items from different homes and funds raised added to the already healthy scholarship.

Karen herself also sells terrariums, crochet, and beaded bracelets.

terrarium fundraiser hand made bracelets fundraiser halloween fundraiserfundraiser flocking

At the end of all the events, Karen was able to raise $3,400 for Emily’s Scholarship.

She was able to not only give one scholarship in honor of Emily but six.

$600 is being donated to Walnut Wood School, which is the school that allowed Emily to continue school at the beginning of her treatment through “home and hospital.”

The rest of the funds are going to Cordova High School to provide five lucky students with a scholarship; honoring Emily and her story. In order to be chosen as the five recipients, they all had to write an essay explaining what their passions were, along with a bonus question asking about a fundraiser and if given the opportunity, how and what actions would be taken. Once all essays were written, they were numbered, read by a committee, and placed in the order of recipients.

Scholarships were given on May 9th and presented under the name of Emily in order to keep her spirit alive and well. Along with receiving the scholarship, recipients were encouraged to attend a meet and greet with Karen, in order for Karen to inform them of who Emily was, her story, and the reasoning behind the scholarship.

Karen looks forward to continuing this new tradition and already has groups who are willing to donate to future scholarships.

Emily was a very beautiful person, inside and out. We continue to see her humble beauty through the actions of Karen and the positive memories she provides us with.

Emily will, in fact, make an entrance at her graduation, through the Emily Marler Memorial 2018 Cordova High School Scholarship.

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