West Allis Brewery hosts HAWS fundraiser to honor Emma Mertens

NOW: West Allis Brewery hosts HAWS fundraiser to honor Emma Mertens

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Sunday in West Allis meant free beer, and dogs.

Not your usual combination but one created for a special occasion, and a special little girl.

“We’re doing it in honor of Emma Mertens," Kim Dorfner, owner of Westallion Brewing Company, said.

Eight-year-old Emma lost her battle with DIPG, an aggressive brain tumor in November.

After hearing her story, and her love of animals, the Westallion Brewing Company reached out to Emma’s family.

“Well it just means the world that we were able to build this Brewery and use it as a platform to raise awareness for causes like this,” Dorfner added.

For its second year, the Westallion is using the Christmas holiday to raise money for a local organization.

“What we loved about Emma is she was the most kind little girl in the world," Geoffrey Mertens, Emma’s father, said. “Emma wanted nothing more than to be nice to everybody, it didn’t matter and then it spread to animals.” 

Geoffrey Mertens said his daughter loved volunteering at HAWS of Waukesha.

“Emma was really about cultivating respect for all living beings,” Maggie Tate-Techtmann, HAWS Waukesha assistant director, said.

HAWS told CBS 58 money donated at this event will benefit its Humane Education program, which helps children learn empathy for animals.

“She was an incredible supporter of HAWS and really such a role model for kindness in the community and kindness towards animals,” she added.

Emma’s father said she didn’t deserve the battle she fought, but their family will continue helping animals in her honor.

“As much as we miss her we want to just honor her life now by helping as many animals as we can because that’s exactly what she wanted to do,” Mertens said.

The fundraiser ended on Sunday, but you can still donate. You can reach out to Westallion, HAWS Waukesha, the family’s foundation Emma Loves Dogs or Team Emma Facebook Page.

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