Nation Valley News
MOUNTAIN — Lost but never forgotten. The life of local-area resident Jonathan Pitre lives on through his many followers and supporters even after his April 4 passing.
Mountain Orchards wanted to show their support.
They created a beautifully designed corn maze illustrating ‘Butterfly Boy’, Jonathan Pitre, and his struggle with a rare genetic connective tissue disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), which took his life just shy of his 18th birthday.
One of the orchard’s co-owners, Phil Lyall, spoke to Nation Valley News about the inspiration behind this heartwarming creation.
“It’s a story that’s been in the papers since the very beginning,” Lyall said.
“I thought we could possibly raise some funds for DEBRA. With this being a local story I just wanted to do something,” he added.
Visitors of the Orchard can place donations in a special box that will be situated by the entrance of the maze.
Lyall then explained how he reached out to Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association (DEBRA) and Jonathan’s mother Tina Boileau “for permission after the fact,” he laughed.
Luckily everyone was onboard and loved the idea.
Upon seeing the story posted on Twitter this was Boileau’s response:
Thank you Mountain Orchards for the beautiful artwork in memory of my son Jonathan and the 🦋 community. Jonny Boy your wave keeps going 🌊 https://t.co/gaK6LSuhnt
— Tina Boileau (@BoileauTina) August 16, 2018
Nation Valley News told Lyall about her reaction and he was touched.
“That’s fabulous! So lovely! Glad she’s enjoying it!”
Soon everyone will get to enjoy the maze themselves first-hand. The apple picking season begins August 25 at Mountain Orchards. Visitors can enjoy this maze and many more family-oriented activities free of admission.
Lyall described how he makes his designs considering the fact he can’t see his canvas from above.
He first cuts the corn when it is only 6 inches high. He uses high standing flags to mark out where he needs to cut with the tractor. “It requires some measuring and some eye-balling, and then I maintain it all summer long,” explained Lyall.
Other companies have fancy machinery and satellite technology to map out their designs, but we’re old school,” he joked. “I’m 69-years-old!” he continued.
Lyall has been creating designs for years but this is the first time he has done something for fundraising efforts.
His creations usually revolve around family somehow. Past images have been of grandchildren’s names. He also recalled making a stork flying in the sky holding a baby in its beak with the parent’s and baby’s name around it.
A very talented man for sure!
See the video posted below of Lyall cutting this year’s maze: