The 500 Festival has announced that Emma Stumpf has been named Grand Marshal of the 2016 IPL 500 Festival Parade. Tying into the theme for this year’s parade, Experience the Celebration, honoring Miss Stumpf will give Hoosiers the opportunity to celebrate her spirit and vast accomplishments. Emma, who is 14 years-old, is the youngest Grand Marshal in the Parade’s 60-year history.
At just 14 years-old, Emma has made a profound impact on the community through her inspirational spirit and unwavering resolve. At age 7, Emma was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and underwent 70 weeks of chemotherapy and six weeks of proton radiation to stabilize the tumor. After completing extensive treatment, Emma was determined to find a way to make lengthy hospital stays easier for other children. She founded her program, Emma’s Art Cart, to provide art kits to children that are hospitalized and often confined to their bed. In just over two years, Emma’s Art Carts have provided more than 1,500 customized art kits, providing therapy and stimulation for young children battling big problems.
During a recent hospitalization, Emma’s only request was to meet a princess. Upon learning of this request, several of the 2016 500 Festival Princesses paid a visit to Emma’s hospital room. In addition, the 500 Festival named Emma Stumpf an honorary 500 Festival Princess.
“Emma Stumpf is an extraordinary person and we are proud to have her serve as our IPL 500 Festival Parade Grand Marshal during this epic year filled with many milestones,” said Bob Bryant, president, and CEO of the 500 Festival. “Emma’s strength and resolve, coupled with her generous spirit and desire to put others before herself, make her an inspiration. Serving as Grand Marshal of one of Indy’s most cherished community events will give us all an opportunity to celebrate her accomplishments and encourage her in her ongoing battle with cancer.”