Foundation raises $6,000 at Emma’s Birthday Giveback Ride and Community Day, in memory of Emma Sweet

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Emma’s Birthday Giveback Ride and Community Day generated $6,000 Saturday for the Emma Grace Foundation for a variety of children’s causes and for first responders.

The first-time event at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds included a two-and-a-half hour ride dominated by motorcycles and Jeeps, raffles and door prizes, children’s games, a cake walk, face painting, balloon animals, a magic show, vendors, Disney princesses and more.

The foundation was formed after the death last year of 2-year-old Emma Sweet “to help children and families thrive to be the best they can and give each child and family an opportunity to grow, be part of events, and have joy no matter their struggle,” according to the website at, where donations still are being accepted.


Mike Wolanin | The Republic  The Emma Grace Foundation was started in honor of the late Emma Sweet.


Melodee Hand, the child’s grandmother, said the family and organizers were thrilled with the turnout and the money raised, especially, they said, in light of other events unfolding last weekend.

“I was overwhelmed with the attendance, and the generosity and everybody was just wonderful,” Hand said, adding that next year’s event already is in the planning stages.

She said organizers would like to see the gathering grow each year.

“I hope so,” Hand said. “I certainly hope so.”

For more coverage, see Thursday’s Republic.

Grace Barkes, standing in back, Kaitlin White, and Alice Pisom at the lemonade and popcorn booth during Emma’s Birthday Giveback Ride & Community Day to remember the late Emma Sweet held at the Bartholomew County 4-H Faigrounds, Saturday, August 27, 2022 Carla Clark | For The Republic