So who doesn’t love a good photo shoot, am I right? And who else has been wondering where that sunflower field that has become a local Instagram phenomenon is? Well I for one, take responsibility in being one of those individuals… for both loving photos and being curious of the sunflower field. I first discovered the sunflower field across Instagram, as I had just mentioned and my first thought was I NEED to go there for myself. I had no idea where it was or anything about it, but fortunately one of my sorority sisters who shared my same curiosity, asked about it in our big GroupMe. Obviously there is not just one sunflower field, but from the messages, we figured out the one we had been seeing is located in Avon, which is about an hour away from Kent State University. My friend and I definitely had to plan a date, and luckily, we got the amazing opportunity to go this past week. Let me say, it is gorgeous!
We spent a Friday afternoon there to catch up as we walked through the field and took several pictures. We took in the beauty. Not only were we delighted to just be able to enjoy ourselves and take an afternoon off of our busy lives, but were happy to support the cause behind this sunflower field.
You see, this field is not just there because, but it was planted in memory of Maria McNamara. Maria was a delightful young, little girl, age 6, when she was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer in 2006. With almost no chance of a cure and with the aspect of expenses, in just a very short time this form of cancer took Maria’s life in 2007. Her loving family decided to turn their love for Maria and honor her by starting an amazing cause, The Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation. They raise money for research and aim to make a difference in raising public awareness and bring hope to children and their families with this disease. This 35 acre stretch of land is known as Maria’s Field of Hope and this year marks its fourth year. With just this last spring passing, more than a million sunflower seeds were planted. Since the beginning of the foundation more than 1 million dollars have been raised in funding for research.
With it being so warm out still, the season has lasted longer than normal for these sunflowers, but having it now be mid-October, the season is basically coming to an end for the year. Moreover, it may be too late to plan a visit now, but I highly suggest bringing your friends and making an adventure out next season. It is a great opportunity to have a day and reflect on Maria’s story and the rest of what the foundation offers.