Fundraising pie party set during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Community-building event honors Ewan Lill’s memory.

Ewan Lill’s memory continues to endure on Mercer Island and beyond through crucial fundraising for young high-risk leukemia patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

The nonprofit Team Ewan Guild, comprised of friends and family, has raised more than $70,000 to place toward research and treatment of the cancer since 2018, and an upcoming fundraiser will continue that drive to assist others with the remembrance of Ewan at the forefront.

Ewan, who died of acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the age of 8 in 2018, would have celebrated his 14th birthday on Sept. 22. With September marked as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Islanders are hosting a Pies Against Cancer event from 2-4 p.m. on Sept. 23 at the Mercer Island Funny Farm, 6053 Island Crest Way. The gathering will benefit the Seattle Children’s High-Risk Leukemia Program.

Attendees who donate to the Team Ewan Guild at the event will be matched with a local baker and receive a thank-you pie straight from their oven. The community-building event will feature pie tasting, a silent auction, raffle, tie-dyeing Team Ewan Guild pie T-shirts, live jazz music, Seattle Universal Math Museum hands-on pi-related activities and more.

Ewan’s mother Jenny Harrington Lill said this pie party is what her son would have wanted to occur during his birthday month.

“Experiencing the death of a child is excruciating — unbearable most of the time. But in times when we gather to remember him, when I see his friends, and hear his name, I feel a sweet, warm joy — a comfort, like pie. The event is a lovely legacy to Ewan and a cause he appreciates,” she said.

Mom is grateful that her daughter, Elena, and friend Maggie Tai Tucker are leading the way in honoring Ewan and aiding others faced with cancer by co-chairing the pie party.

Elena, 16, has attached her two passions of cancer research and baking into the profound fundraiser.

“I hope to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer and their families because I know what it feels like to be affected by cancer,” Elena said. “His diagnosis upheaved my family and all I wanted was a normal life. I’ve always relieved my stress by baking and I’m gratified that Pies Against Cancer, an event centered around what gives me comfort, has the potential to make a tangible impact in peoples’ lives.”

Tucker hopes the event — which is based on a fundraiser helmed by Christopher Stephens in New York City — will become an Island autumn tradition.

“Mercer Islanders really rallied around Ewan and his family during his illness. This fundraiser is bringing people together again in a way that honors Ewan’s memory while also raising funds for our local research teams working on understanding and treating high-risk leukemia,” added Tucker, who serves on the Mercer Island School Board.

For more information on the pie party, visit

Courtesy graphic

Courtesy graphic