Allie and Debbie Kendig, Aryn and Abby Pecoraro, and Kristen Haslett

Eva Bongiovanni, Ed McNamara, Laurel Anderson and Megan McNamara

It isn’t summer without the Sunflower.
One of the season’s most popular events, the Sunflower Wine Festival, brought more than 3,000 party goers to the Depot Street area in Rocky River to raise funds for the Prayers from Maria Foundation.
Festival-goers enjoyed wine and craft beer gardens, food from area restaurants, bourbon and handcrafted mixology classes and live music by Ed Purcell, Max Stack, Medusa and the Sunset Strip.
Ed and Megan McNamara started the Prayers from Maria Foundation after their daughter Maria died from a brain tumor in 2007. The foundation is dedicated to funding global research into the causes, prevention, treatment and cure for childhood brain tumors. The foundation’s medical board includes some of the best doctors in the country searching for a cure for this disease. Because childhood brain

Angela and Ken Smith with Kate and Ed Purcell

tumor research is underfunded, the McNamara family works to make a difference by raising public awareness and bringing hope to children and their families affected by the disease. This year’s Sunflower Wine Festival raised more than $100,000 to support that cause. Over the last 14 years, the event has brought in close to $8 million dollars to support research. STORY BY CYNTHIA SCHUSTER EAKIN/PHOTOGRAPHS BY ERIC EAKIN