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The Maize raises money for VCH with maze

Utilizing extreme concentration while navigating through 2 1/2 miles of corn, participants brave dehydration and exhaustion while attempting to conquer The Maize, by Valley Children’s Hospital (VCH). The corn is 10 ft. high so there is little possibility of seeing over the corn in order to end the relentless struggle.

“I have fun watching my friends harass the Corn Cops and other people,” Chris Burford, ’04, said. “You have to go at night so you can ditch your friends and yell and scream as you run through the corn.”

This year, Valley Children’s Hospital is sponsoring the Cornfield Maze and the field is transfigured into the shape of a giraffe with hearts surrounding it. Corn Cops are placed throughout the maze to keep participants from cutting through the corn and from performing other mischievous actions.

“You really get to know people because you end up seeing them many times,” Adam Francher, Corn Cop, said. “It’s great to see people get lost and wander around aimlessly for hours.” According to Maize officials, most participants take over one hour to complete the maze.

Aside from the entertaining aspect of the Maize, there is a beneficial side as well.
Team in Training (TT), a volunteer organization, will be holding a fundraiser outside the Cornfield Maze on Oct. 20 to support the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society (LLS).

“Team in Training are all volunteers,” Sheryl Bavoso, TT member and co-organizer, said. “We are simply ordinary people who do extraordinary things in order to benefit the LLS patients.”

TT has athletes all over the nation that compete in running, walking or cycling marathons, with benefits going to the LLS. Honorees, leukemia and lymphoma patients, take part in the marathons along with some of their parents.

Athletes, who get training from professional coaches, range in age from 18-70 and participate in the marathons. Most of TT’s donations come from letter writing campaigns and ads from sponsors. Old Navy and Pizza Hut are the main sponsors of the Oct. 20 event and have given coupons and goodie bags to TT for them to pass out to Maize participants.

With five mazes in California, and over 200 nationwide, The Maize has become the largest cornfield maze company in the world. Yet not all participants enjoyed the experience.

“It’s really boring,” Daisy Howell, ’03, said. “You end up seeing the same people 50 times, and walking around in circles for about two and half hours. I’ve been three times and the only reason I go is to hang out with my friends.”
The Maize runs through Nov. 4 and holds special activities on the weekends such as wagon rides, a petting zoo, pumpkin patch and launcher, peddle tractor race track and pony rides.

The Maize charges a $7 entrance fee and closes at 10 p.m. every day. It opens at 6 p.m. Wed.-Fri., 10 a.m. on Sat., and 1 p.m. on Sun. All Wednesdays are students’ day, where students with ID cards receive a $1 discount on the entrance fee. All Thursdays are VCH days and $1 from every ticket purchased is donated to VCH. This year, VCH encourages people to go out to the Cornfield Maize and find out why getting lost means finding fun.

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