Frequently Asked Questions
If you're looking to donate, please visit our Donate page. If you are looking to volunteer, visit our Volunteer page.
Have a question you don't see answered below? Email Us.
Visiting the Fields
Where are the Fields Located?
The new Maria's FIeld of Hope in Avon is located on the corner of Jaycox Rd and Middleton, along the highway. It is not yet open to the public. We do have a transitional field location in Avon that we are using in the interim. Follow our social media and website for any announcements on that field as they become available. When in bloom, the field is open from sunup to sundown. There is no fee to visit the field, but we do accept donations as we raise money for childhood cancer research.
Sandusky, Ohio – Cedar Point
Maria’s Field of Hope at Cedar Point sunflower field is located next to Cedar Point’s Express Hotel, 1201 Cedar Point Dr. You don't need to enter the park to visit the field.
Where do I park?
There is parking located next to the field.
Sandusky, Ohio - Cedar Point
There is parking located next to the Cedar Point’s Express Hotel, 1201 Cedar Point Dr.
When will the fields be in bloom?
Maria’s Sunflower Field of Hope next to Cedar Point is expected to bloom in August. Maria’s Sunflower Field of Hope in Avon is planned to bloom sometime in September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. However, now that we are planting in a transitional field location until our permanent field is ready, we have had to move that time frame to end of September early October for 2022. We recommend staying tuned in to our social media and website for any updates to this information.
Once in bloom how long do the flowers last?
How do I know the exact day that is best to visit the field?
Are there fireworks at the field?
Each year we hold a Celebration of Life event at bloom time to celebrate the lives of all children who have passed away from cancer. There is usually a fireworks display at this event and all are welcome to attend. Follow us on social media or our website for updates.
How much does it cost to visit the field?
There is no fee to visit the fields, but we do accept donations as they help us bring more targeted, life-saving treatments to children battling deadly brain tumors. Every dollar you donate brings us one step closer to a cure.
Once in bloom, what are the hours?
The fields are open from sunup to sundown. Visit Maria's Shop at the field seven days a week from 10 am - 8 pm per volunteer staff availability. To volunteer at Maria's shop, click here.
Can I bring my dog (or other pets)?
We do welcome pets at the fields. Please make sure they are friendly and clean up after them.
Do you need volunteers at the field?
Yes. Many volunteer opportunities are available at the field from working in Maria’s Shop to helping us care for the field. Please visit our Volunteer page for more details and to contact us.
How do I Dedicate a Sunflower at the Field?
To Dedicate a Sunflower at one of Maria’s Sunflower Fields of Hope you may visit our shop located at our field or you can do that online here.
I dedicated a sunflower online, how do I find it in the field?
A special section of the field is designated for those who dedicate a sunflower online. Ask at Maria’s Shop to locate this section at the field.
Do I have to wear a mask at the fields?
As we continue to monitor the changing events of the day, our organization is committed to taking care of our employees, customers, family members, and friends.
We will monitor and follow the guidance provided by the medical experts at the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC) as well as federal, state, and local authorities regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
- Follow 6 ft. social distancing at all times while visiting the field.
- Be considerate of others while walking the fields to maintain social distancing at all times.
- Self-monitor your health and DO NOT come if you are sick.
- Wash and sanitize hands before and after you visit the field and our shop.
- Face masks/covering are required while visiting the shop at the field when you are unable to maintain six-foot social distance from people who are not household members.
Can I buy sunflowers at the fields?
We do not sell our flowers at the field as they are for everyone to enjoy. There is a shop located at the field where you can purchase merchandise.
Can I pick the flowers at the field?
Please do not pick the flowers at the field, they are for everyone to enjoy.
How do I get my child’s photo in the field?
You and your family are in our prayers. You can submit your child’s photo and your family’s journey here. Our Family Liaison will contact you shortly after submission.
What are some other places I can visit around the fields?
Things to do in Avon, Ohio.
Sandusky, Ohio - Cedar Point
Things to do in Sandusky, Ohio.
Photography & Events
We are happy to welcome photographers to Maria’s Field of Hope! We do ask that professional photographers who plan to shoot special occasion photos (engagement and wedding photos, senior photos…) in our field, please first obtain a Sunflower Shutterbug Pass to support Maria’s Field of Hope.
I'm not a photographer, but I do have a camera I'd like to take photos of my kids do I have to pay the fee for the shutterbug pass if I use my own camera?
You do not have to purchase a shutterbug pass if you are taking personal photos.
Am I able to take Wedding, Engagement, baby and family photos at the field?
We do welcome special occasion photos, but do ask that you or your photographer obtain a Sunflower Shutterbug Pass to support Maria’s Field of Hope.
Can I have my Wedding at the field?
We are not able to close the field for private weddings. We do welcome small weddings, as long as it doesn’t disturb other guest or the flowers.
Can I do a gender reveal in the field with a smoke bomb?
We discourage any activity at the field that would disturb or destroy the flowers and other guests.
Why the Sunflower?
After Maria was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor the Sunflower became her symbol. The Sunflower beautifully represents the Prayers from Maria Foundation.
- In the language of flowers, the Sunflower is the Flower of Hope.
- Like a child, the Sunflower in full bloom radiates beauty and happiness to all who encounter it.
- The Sunflower is a spiritual flower – it follows and turns to face the Sun. It derives its energy from the Sun. It mirrors the Sun.
- The Sunflower stands through the dark of night waiting for the Sun to rise. Like the Sunflower we are confident “the sun will rise” and we will bring an end to childhood cancer.
- The Sunflower seems to be with us for too short a time; taken from us too soon.
- Like these children, the Sunflower, though it dies, continues to give life through the seeds it leaves behind. The weary Sunflower bows its head to the Sun. Its seeds fall to the ground to produce more flowers and nourishment for birds and people.
- The Sunflower detoxifies and enriches the soil that it grows in.
- The golden color of the sunflower is reminiscent of the gold ribbon for childhood cancer.
Are sunflowers annuals or perennials?
Sunflowers are mostly annuals, though there are some perennial varieties. The annual sunflowers may also self-germinate from dropped seeds if you leave the heads on the plants throughout the winter. Maria’s Field of Hope plants annual sunflowers each year.
What is a cover crop?
A cover crop is a crop of a specific plant that is grown primarily for the benefit of the soil rather than the crop yield. Cover crops are commonly used to suppress weeds, manage soil erosion, help build and improve soil fertility and quality, control diseases and pests, and promote biodiversity.
Why do the sunflowers follow the sun?
Heliotropism, or the directional growth of a plant in response to sunlight, provides benefits to sunflowers. As plants follow the sun's movement, the leaves turn toward the sun, which optimizes their ability to photosynthesize. Mature sunflowers stop tracking the sun's movement and permanently remain facing east instead of moving east to west as they track the sun's movement.
Do you harvest the sunflowers?
Yes. Once the sunflowers are harvested from Maria’s Field of Hope, the barrels of seeds are bagged as Seeds of Hope for the Prayers From Maria Foundation. The Foundation sells the bags for bird seed and raises money for research.
Where can I buy Seeds of Hope?
The Foundation sells the seeds directly, in addition to partnering with several generous local garden centers who also sell the seeds with 100% of the profits going to the Foundation. See our website and follow us on social media for more details.