NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — People continued to remember and celebrate a little girl that touched so many hearts Monday night.
Bubbles filled the air for Emma Welp’s one-year remembrance ceremony at Maxwell Park in Normal.
“One thing that was said today was to keep saying Emma’s name, keep talking about Emma, and I think that is really important,” said family friend, Joye Solvie.
Emma passed away last May after a seven-month-long battle with a rare cancer called DIPG.
“We would love for you to get your bubbles out now. While this song plays, feel free to blow your bubbles and think of Emma,” said organizer, Maggie Hundley.
Seven-year-old Aiden Reed sang a song from Emma’s favorite movie, The Greatest Showman.
“I wanted to do it because I wanted to do it for Emma because she was one of my best friends,” said Reed.
Family friend Joye Solvie said watching him sing brought tears to her eyes.
“I think Emma’s bravery comes through him, you know he saw how brave she was, and now I think her bravery has affected all of us. We are all a little bit braver because of Emma,” said Solvie.
The ceremony ended with each person throwing dirt to pot new flowers for the Welps.
“This would be something Mark, Laura, and Abby could look at every day and remember how many people love them,” said Solvie.
Organizer Maggie Hundley said it is a reminder that the community is still here and the Welp family is not on this journey alone.
“Every time they see it, it’s purple for Emma obviously but also that a lot of people are caring and loving and cheering along the way,” said Hundley.
People can continue to embrace Emma at Maxwell Park in Normal, where a bench is dedicated in her honor.