AVON, Ohio – It’s not every day you get to pose for a picture with a Cleveland Indians All-Star, but with his puppy named Cloudy Days in hand, pitcher Mike Clevinger took photos with fans for a $20 donation at Maria’s Field of Hope in Avon Saturday morning.
“It’s special to see the community come together especially with something as pretty as this. It’s fun, it’s something natural and something that everyone can come out and enjoy in their own time,” Clevinger said.
All money raised went directly to the Prayers from Maria Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation which is aimed at bringing more targeted, life-saving treatments to children battling brain tumors.
“Our goal is to send a message about all the children that had and are fighting cancer and it represents that there’s not enough being done. And although this is just a small sampling and there’s over a million sunflowers that were planted, it doesn’t even talk to the depth of the problem,” co-founder Ed McNamara said.
McNamara’s daughter, Maria, was diagnosed with a brain tumor at just six years old in 2006. She died a year later.
Year-round, each of the sunflowers at Maria’s Field of Hope can be dedicated to a loved one impacted by childhood cancer.
“It’s extremely beautiful — seeing all the children signs out there, it makes it worth it. We drove an hour out here,” said supporter Rachel Waters.
And Saturday, baseball’s Mr. Sunshine helped the organization continue to raise funds for research and awareness.
“This would be what I wanted to do in my spare time anyways; if it’s able to help, all the positive, all the better,” Clevinger said.
A total of $200 was raised on Saturday.