Those looking to participate in family-friendly activities without breaking the bank are in luck because Lakeview Future Farmers of America is bringing back its Corn Maze.

“We just thought it was a cool way of giving back to our community,” said Madison Schwarz, president of Lakeview FFA and senior at Lakeview High School.

The event, which is part of the chapter’s community service project, will take place from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday at the cornfield south of Farm Credit Services of America, 4865 Monastery Road. Admission is free for individuals of all ages. Lakeview FFA officers and members will be leading each group of attendees through the maze.

In addition to the maze, members have put together several games including bean bag toss and minute-to-win-it trivia. These games are placed within the maze, as well as outside.

Although some games will be fairly straightforward, some will require participants to work a little harder.

Sophomore Lakeview FFA member Abigail Lutjelusche said there will be a game where a stocking filled with a tennis ball will be strapped on a participant’s head and he or she will have to use it to knock down pumpkins.

Three Lakeview FFA officers spent a day cutting through the 5-acre cornfield to build the maze. Although it only took them several hours, they periodically returned to the area to ensure the grounds were safe for the public.

“Just to make sure the stubble on the ground is cleared out (best) as possible so that people aren’t tripping,” Lakeview FFA adviser Catherine Ripp said.

This is the first year the event is being brought back to the community since its six-year hiatus, though reasons for the discontinuance weren't made clear to The Telegram.

Although the majority of games and labor were provided by Lakeview FFA officers and members, Schwarz some expenses were covered by proceeds raised through past auctions and fundraisers.

Since Farm Credit Services of America loaned the land to the chapter, Columbus farmer Mark Mass has donated corn seeds for the field and farmer Paul Wilke has planted them for the chapter. This has happened whether members decide to have a maze or not, Ripp said.

Schwarz said she plans to evaluate this year’s turnout before considering turning the event into an annual tradition.

Throughout the preparation process, sophomore student Jerica Mohlman, junior officer for Lakeview FFA, said her favorite part has been brainstorming game ideas to incorporate into the fun-filled event.

Schwarz, Lutjelusche and Mohlman said they personally enjoy participating in fall activities like corn mazes and pumpkin patches. So, they are excited to be able to put together an activity that they enjoy within their community.

“I think it would be really fun while we are there to see kids having fun and knowing that we are giving back,” Schwarz said.

Natasya Ong is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at natasya.ong@lee.net.

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