An art class project led Holly Lane Elementary School fourth grader Maddie Gentzel to create a company that makes and sells cupcakes to help kids with cancer.
“Cupcakes for Cancer” started out last fall after Maddie and her classmates were tasked by Holly Lane art teacher Staci Peltz with creating a poster about a shop or a place. She came up with the name “Cupcakes for Cancer” and
started thinking about how she could actually turn her love of cupcakes into a plan to help children with the disease.
“I love cupcakes, and I like to bake them,” Maddie said. “So I thought why not do something I love to help someone else. A cupcake always brightens a person’s day.”
After talking it over with her mother, Lori Gentzel, fourth-grade teacher Hun Piazza and Holly Lane Principal Mimi Verdone, Maddie set a goal of raising $500 through the sale of her homemade cupcakes to donate to Prayers from Maria – Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation based in Bay Village. The Foundation was started by Ed and Megan McNamara, who lost their seven-year-old daughter, Maria, in 2007 to a brain tumor. The foundation is dedicated to funding global research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for childhood brain tumors, known as gliomas.
“I chose the Prayers from Maria foundation because we know Maria’s family, and I want to help them in trying to help children with brain tumors,” Maddie said.
The fourth grader also plans to funnel some of her earnings to Miracles for Michael, a group supporting nine-year-old Michael Orbany and his fight against metastatic medulloblastoma, a form of cancer that affects his brain and spine.
The Gentzels know of Michael’s story through their parish, St. Bernadette in Westlake.