Local corn maze supporting injured soldiers

Story by Martha Landry, Managing Editor

The Wounded Warrior Project aims to empower and honorinjured soldiers. Aside from the large fundraising events, there are ways to support your troops locally.
Govin’s Meats & Berries, located off Interstate 94 exit 45, opened their gates for their fifth annual corn maze on Saturday. Each year they pick a charity to raise money for and this year it is Wounded Warriors.
The message behind the project sits close to home for the Govin family. Second Lt. Jason Church, a family friend from Menomonie, lost both his legs after surviving a bomb blast in Afghanistan in 2012.
Currently Church is in Washington, D.C., but Kyle Govin, 22, said Church is really hoping to make it out to the maze before the end of the season and thought it was a great idea.
“(Church) was really happy the community is standing behind him and there was a lot of community support at the time of the accident,” Govin said.
Julie Govin, Kyle Govin’s mother, said the family tries to pick a different charity each year that relates to the family. To kick off the start of the season this year, the Govin family hosted a pancake breakfast on opening morning.
“Being the first year with the breakfast we didn’t really know what to expect,” Julie Govin said. “The weather yesterday wasn’t very nice, so if they were going to come out to the breakfast and then going in the maze, it wasn’t a good day.”
Julie Govin said nearly 100 people came to the breakfast, but because the weather was subpar, the afternoon didn’t draw as many visitors as they would have liked. The biggest factors in their attendance numbers are weather and the Green Bay Packer schedule, John Govin said. Sunday was a bye week for the Packers, so the family was happy to see the turnout for the second day of opening weekend.
The Govin’s farm offers a wide variety of events to choose from including the pumpkin patch, nine-hole mini golf, petting zoo featuring alpacas, goats and a dwarf horse as well as pig races in addition to the eleven-acre corn maze.
John Govin said the pumpkins were irrigated during the summer so the dry spells did not affect the size of the produce.
There is even after-dark flashlight corn maze trips for those who are a little more brave. Although there is a family fun idea associated with these outings, Julie Govin said they get visitors of all ages.
Stacey Rohl, from Ellsworth, attended the corn maze on Sunday afternoon with her dad, sister and 5-year-old daughter.
“I like that they had a beginner and advanced level,” Rohl said. “We did the beginner one. It took like 15 minutes, perfect for a 5-year-old.”
The charity fundraising for the Wounded Warrior Project will be in effect all season, though. Julie Govin said they are hoping to raise a few thousand dollars for the charity.
“It shows a lot of support to our troops, especially the wounded who have served overseas for us,” Kyle Govin said.