When cancer survivor Emily Alberts was seeking a way to raise funds for her Emily Strong Foundation, a car show seemed to be a natural fit.
Her father, Joe Alberts, is a car buff and always took his family to car shows, including one in Westfield that used to be held July 4.
So, the Carmel family becoming a charity partner for the Westfield Lions Club Car Show was a perfect fit. The show will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 2 at Grand Junction Brewery, 1189 E. 181st St., Westfield.
Emily, a Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School senior, is president and chief executive officer of the foundation while Joe serves as president of the board of directors. Julia Alberts, Emily’s mother, serves as secretary/treasurer.
“We can take donations by way of a portion of the fee they are charging for the entrance fee and anything we’re able to get as far as donations at the event,” Joe said. “We’ll take those funds on behalf of the foundation to Riley Children’s Hospital. Emily was treated at Riley, so we want to make sure the first event we did honored Riley. We hope this is our first event of many like this.”
Emily was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma shortly after she started her freshman year at Brebeuf.
“She went through four months of chemotherapy in the fall of 2018 and (was) pronounced to be in remission in December 2018,” Joe said.
Emily said the main reason she is so dedicated to giving back is to help the families and kids that are going through what she did.
“I want to be as supportive as I can be because I know how hard it can be on the families and on the kids,” she said. “I want to make my own impact by fundraising for childhood cancer research and raising awareness for the disease.”
Emily had been starting on Brebeuf’s junior varsity volleyball team and said didn’t have any symptoms associated with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“The diagnosis came as a surprise, especially after starting my first year at new school,” Emily said. “It was hard to deal with it at first, but I think ultimately I came out as a better person overall having gone through so much in a short period of time.”
Emily, who gave up high school volleyball after her sophomore season, has scans every six months and has been perfectly healthy ever since.
While she was undergoing treatment, Emily said going to car shows made her happy.
“It’s a hobby that our family loves to get together and do on the weekend,” said Emily, whose brother Luke is a Brebeuf freshman
Her family, who has lived in Carmel for 25 years, has a 1956 Chevrolet Bel-Air convertible and a 1954 Cadillac Eldorado convertible.
In the future, Joe said he hopes the foundation also raise funds by holding golf outings, youth sports tournaments, 5K runs and toy and gift drives.