Most Northeast Ohio residents have seen the sea of sunflowers that stretches for nearly a mile along I-90 in Avon.
The flowers are a memorial to Maria McNamara, who was only 7 years old when she died from a glioma brain tumor.
While the sight makes for a breathtaking view this week, the foundation behind them, Prayers from Maria Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation, is facing another loss.
Tools donated to the Prayers from Maria project were stolen from a locked pod that held them sometime in the last week.
According to police, someone cut the lock off the shed and stole a generator, chop saw, cordless drill, table saw, wheelbarrow as well as other lumber and building materials. Officials believe the theft occurred sometime between Thursday, July 21 and this past Monday.
This is the third year Prayers from Maria organization has planted the Avon sunflower field. Volunteers were working to add structures to the 50-acre Field of Hope—which is expected to bloom around the first of September—when the tools were taken.
Lowe's of Avon, along with four other Lowe's locations, chose Prayers from Maria to benefit from their Heroes project.
Volunteers were working to build donation boxes, an observation bridge, a observation deck that doubles as a stage near the entrance, a storage shed, and a pergola at the entrance of the field, which is located on the southwest corner of Jaycox and Chester Road intersection.
The Prayers from Maria Children's Glioma Cancer Foundation is an organization that dedicates itself to funding global research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for one of the deadliest brain tumors in children, known as gliomas.