CICF News / 2012 / August / News Post
August 2, 2012
A Spark of Giving

Emily Yott was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after her first birthday. After 14 months of intense treatment at both Riley Hospital for children and Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent, Emily lost her battle with the disease in May of 2007.

The Yott Family preserves their daughter's memory by supporting families and children facing critical illnesses.

Emily’s parents, Jim and Stephanie Yott, wanted to memorialize their daughter by allowing her brief life to have far-reaching impact on other children facing life-threatening diseases. The Yotts created a fund in her memory with the help of their financial investment advisor who connected them to Legacy Fund, an affiliate of the Central Indiana Community Foundation.

Since the creation of the the Emily Yott Foundation, their efforts have helped nearly 30 families and children impacted by cancer or other critical illnesses.

Carnival of Caring

In addition to an initial $5,000 grant from the Tony Stewart Foundation, the Yotts are able to add to the Emily Yott Foundation’s giving power by combining donations and fundraisers including a dance, silent auction and raffle. They raise between $10,000 and $20,000 annually, which is then directed to families in need.

The family also hosts the Emily Yott Foundation Lemonade Stand & Carnival each year. The event features face painting, balloons, a bounce house and carnival games. The event, along with their other fundraising efforts, allows the family both to preserve their memories of Emily and to build a spirit of giving within their family.

“We always ask, ‘Is it worth it?’” says Stephanie Yott. “The foundation teaches our younger kids that there are people in the world in bad situations through no fault of their own, and there are things we can do to help.”

Their efforts make a valuable difference in the lives of the families and children they are able to help. One recipient, Hannah Christian, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, in 2008. While her cancer is now in remission, her treatment resulted in the amputation of her right leg. The Emily Yott Foundation was able to help Hannah’s family pay for a new prosthetic leg.

An Inspiration for Impact

Emily Yott, photo courtesy of the Yott Family.

The Emily Yott Foundation has grown to more than $50,000 since its creation in 2007. For the Yotts, that impact is grounded in, and inspired by, memories of their daughter.

“Emily's life ignited a spark of giving that overwhelmed and humbled our family,” says Jim Yott. “That spark is now a flame that will burn in our hearts forever.”

To open a CICF Family Foundation (or other charitable fund), please contact Terry Anker at or Rob MacPherson at 317.634.2423 or

For more information, visit

Family photo and reporting support courtesy of Jordan Fischer, Current in Carmel.