Meadville Tribune

April 15, 2013

Sisters use birthdays to raise funds for cancer fight

By Keith Gushard
Meadville Tribune

SAEGERTOWN — Sisters Bella and Anna Linz of Meadville don’t celebrate birthdays like most kids their ages.

Girls at the ages Bella and Anna are — 8 and 5, respectively — usually want dolls, other toys or clothes, but these young ladies, whose March birthdays are less than a week apart, used their special days this year to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

“It’s just a good thing to do,” said Bella, a second-grade student at French Creek Valley Christian School in Saegertown. “It’s really sad when a family goes through a time they lose somebody. I want to change that.”

Instead of wanting presents at the gymnastics birthday party they hosted at the Meadville YMCA, Bella and Anna asked guests to make donations to Emmy’s Wings, a team they are part of in the American Cancer Society’s upcoming Relay For Life in Meadville.

Their combined fundraising goal is $1,000 for the team. The girls have raised more than $800 so far — Bella has raised $425, and Anna, $385.  

Their Relay For Life team, Emmy’s Wings, is named for Emily Mott, a friend of Anna’s who died at age 4 last year due to inoperable brain cancer. Emily and Anna had been close friends in their preschool class at French Creek Valley Christian Child Care in Saegertown. This will be the second year Bella and Anna will walk on a Relay For Life team. Last year, they were able to walk with their friend, Emily.

“Oh, I just enjoy doing things that help other people, and I want to help with finding a cure for cancer,” Bella said when asked about her enthusiasm for Relay For Life.

The team has a mix of ages from kids through adults, according to Miranda Linz, the girls’ mother. She and Emily’s mother, Tammy Mott, helped put the team together.

Asking for charitable donations instead of presents on their birthdays isn’t unusual for Bella and Anna, according to their mom.

For their 2012 birthdays, the sisters hosted a skating party to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

“They are always looking for a way to help the community,” Miranda said. “Whenever they hear of a food drive, they immediately start selecting things from our pantry to give.”

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at

You can help

The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life for Meadville is scheduled June 22 at the Crawford County Fairgrounds in West Mead Township. To learn more or to get involved with Relay For Life, visit

To access the Linz girls’ Relay For Life home pages, go to:

Or access their team’s page, Emmy’s Wings, at:


Fund raiser

A pancake breakfast benefiting the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is scheduled May 18 from 7:30 to 11 a.m. at American Legion Post 381, 24642 Route 408, Cambridge Springs. Breakfast includes pancakes, sausage patties, coffee, juice and milk. Cost is $5 for adults; $3, children ages 6 to 12; and free, kids under age 6.