Party for a Cause at the 2017 Sunflower Wine Festival

Billy Morris and Sunset Strip rock the crowd

Summer revellers partied the night away – all for a good cause at the Old River Shopping area along Detroit Road last Saturday – as the Prayers from Maria Children’s Glioma Foundation hosted its annual Sunflower Wine Festival.

As usual, the event is the party of the summer. Old River was packed and the crowded danced to the music and lively banter of local rocker Billy Morris and Sunset Strip.

Complete with beer and wine gardens, a long line of food trucks on Detroit Road and a spirit of fun, the Sunflower Wine Festival has grown to become a summer staple in the West Shore.

Megan McNamara (left) welcomes guests

It’s all for a good cause, too, as Prayers from Maria Glioma Children’s Cancer Foundation founders Ed & Megan McNamara dedicate their lives to children’s glioma cancer research – a rare form of brain cancer that claimed the life of their daughter, Maria, who passed away in 2007 at the age of 7.

Their Foundation is inspired by little Maria’s wish, that people would pray that God will spare all children from the illness she endured. And so, the Foundation named, “Prayers from Maria” was born.

Two weeks ago, the Prayers from Maria organization hosted its planting day on the acreage that that sits along I-90 and Jaycox Road in Avon. A little later this summer, the fields will again be in full bloom with the sunflowers that celebrate and life of Maria and all kids who battle cancer.

The Foundation, dedicated to research funding, is doing significant work in supporting research. In January, a $250,000 grant for two years from the Prayers from Maria Foundation to Case University in Cleveland netted another $3 million in federal government funding.

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