SANDUSKY, Ohio (WOIO) - The Prayers From Maria Foundation sunflowers are in full bloom at the Maria’s Field of Hope in Sandusky.
More than 160,000 sunflower seeds were planted on the eight-acre field next to Cedar Point’s Express Hotel on Cedar Point Drive in 2019.
The first field, which was planted in Avon along I-90 in 2013, is expected to bloom sometime in September.
Prayers from Maria is named after Maria McNamara, a girl who was diagnosed with a terminal glioma at the age of 6.
Her courageous battle came to an end in July 2007 after she passed away when she was just 7-years-old.
To honor her memory, her parents Megan and Ed, created the organization to raise funds and awareness for children diagnosed with terminal brain tumors.
The sunflowers in the fields can be dedicated to a loved one impacted by childhood cancer.
According to her mother, “The field creates awareness of the dire need to fund childhood cancer research, but radiates a message of love and hope - that we will overcome this challenge. The field celebrates these beautiful children and the great gift their lives are to all of us.”
She also said Prayers from Maria is excited to help bring hope and awareness for a second year:
“Partnering with Cedar Point has allowed us to spread this message of hope far and wide, especially this year - in a time that needs that message. People’s reaction to the field has been wonderful and very receptive! People are friendly, reflective, celebratory, peaceful, happy. The field holds significance to many people for many different reasons. That is another gift of this special place. The community has been extremely supportive, even declaring the official flower of Sandusky the Sunflower.”