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The Maize in Verona benefits Children's Miracle Network and G.R.I.P. Boys Home

The corn maze will give all of its proceeds on Saturday to CMN

September 15, 2011|by Jay Scherder, KY3 News |

VERONA, Mo. -- When you think about fall, you think about football, the changing of the leaves, and corn mazes.  One corn maze here in the Ozarks opens this weekend.  The Maize is unique in the sense of who helped put it all together.

While the design itself was done by professionals, a lot of the other work was done by the G.R.I.P Boys Home in Verona.   The maze is their pride and joy.  Aside from providing entertainment for the area, the maze also helps keep the boys home afloat.

"We have two parts to the maze -- the first half and the second half," said G.R.I.P. Boys Home co-founder David Doner.  "In October, we haunt the maze."

For the last decade, The Maize has provided fun for all ages.  It may look like just any ordinary maze from the ground but, when you pop up a couple of thousand feet, you get a much different picture.

"This year we have Yakov Smirnoff.  He graciously gave us permission to put his face in there," said Doner.

The funny man from Branson isn't the only thing unique about the Maize.

"We work with kids 12 to 18 years of age.  Most of the kids have been abused, abandoned, sexually or physically abused," Doner said.


The Maize is a side project of G.R.I.P. Boys Home.

"We swack the corn.  It's called swacking.  Basically it's car antennas and [we hit the corn with them].  We make it look nice, so the corn's not hitting you in the face or anything."

The boys in the program have a safe refuge from an otherwise rough life.

"We are big believers in keeping kids busy.  They hardly stay in the house," said Doner.

They also learn the values one needs to be successful in life.

"Just really a lot of core values that the kids haven't had a chance to learn, and they are learning these core values where they can use them and use them to make good choices."

While state funding helps the G.R.I.P. Boys Home pay the bills, The Maize helps with everything else in between the bills.

"A lot of people, good people, give and help these kids out.  They know that.  We really want the kids to give back too."

If the maze isn't for you, perhaps you can go a round with the real life rock'em-sock'em robots they have next to the maze.

September 17 is opening day and all of the proceeds from that day will go to the Children's Miracle Network.  Last year, they raised close to $1,500.

Tickets are only $8 for adults and kids are $4.  A coupon is also available.

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