Bay Village scouts build stand to help fight cancer

Cub Scouts from St. Raphael's Pack 159 with the lemonade stand they built for the Prayers from Maria "Field of Hope" sunflower patch in Avon. The pack's Scoutmasters are John Underation, left, and Cliff Mull, right.

Thanks to the hard work of the St. Raphael Cub Scouts of Pack 159 in Bay Village, visitors to the Prayers from Maria sunflower field in Avon will be able to enjoy a cold drink while helping raise money to fight childhood brain cancer.

The “Field of Hope,” located at the southwest corner of Chester and Jaycox roads, was planted as a way to raise awareness for the Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation, headed by Bay Village residents Ed and Megan McNamara. The McNamaras' daughter, Maria, fell victim to the aggressive form of cancer in 2007 when she was 7 years old and, since then, the McNamaras have devoted countless hours to raising money, and awareness, to fight the deadly disease.

The scout pack, under the direction of Scoutmaster John Underation, was looking for a community service project after scout Brandon Walrod approached Underation with an article from the Westlake | Bay Village Observer about how scouts in Westlake had built a buddy bench for that city’s senior center.

After consultation with the McNamaras, the scouts decided to build a lemonade stand for the sunflower field. The 34 members of the pack, age seven to 12, got to work designing the structure and gathering the materials. Construction took about a month.

“The materials for the lemonade stand were donated by local businesses and families within Cub Scout Pack 159,” Underation said. “We thank them all for their generosity.”

The stand was recently unveiled at the sunflower field on a warm and sunny Saturday morning. The boys in attendance were treated to free ice cream from the new Prayers from Maria ice cream truck, which was also unveiled that morning. Situated near the Prayers from Maria gift shop, the stand will be manned by volunteers from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekend days, selling lemonade and other refreshments.

All proceeds will benefit Prayers from Maria, which has raised more than $1 million dollars for pediatric glioma research.

“As a former Boy Scout, I really appreciate the hard work done by these young men,” Ed McNamara said. “This was not an easy task, and the result is perfect for what we needed. It’s these types of efforts that make us better.”

“These boys have good character and really do care about this and other causes,” Underation said. “It was inspiring to watch their dedication to this project, and hopefully it will inspire others to get involved to help fight this terrible childhood disease.”

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Volume 9, Issue 18, Posted 10:18 AM, 09.19.2017