FARMINGTON — The Franklin County Animal Shelter received a $1,105 donation from the Sandy River Farms Corn Maize on Thursday.
L. Herbert “Bussie” York and Brenda York presented the gift to Heidi Jordan, executive director, and Rick Barr, treasurer and board member.
This year, nearly 5,000 people found their way through the maze that featured the animal shelter logo, Bussie York said. Open for five weekends from late September to the end of October, the maze on the Farmington Falls Road attracted people from all over Franklin County, he said.
The Yorks set aside 50 cents from each adult ticket sold for the shelter.
“They run a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation here just like we do on the farm,” he said.
The donation probably will be used to finish an outside room, a cattery, for the cats at the shelter, Jordan said. Standing in the cat room, she pointed out the start of a space outside. Cats will be able to go out through a door to lay in the sun while still confined to the shelter.
“I’m very pleased with the donation,” Barr said. “This is a business and there is a lot of expense to running it.”
Each year, a different logo or scene, often from a nonprofit, is used for the maze. Last year, it was the University of Maine at Farmington logo in honor of its 150th anniversary, he said.
This was the sixth year the maze has operated, York said.
“No one was lost in the maze this year but a few came up missing,” he joked. “They got out before sundown.”
Every year, the Yorks look for something new and different to add to the maze which also features a Pick Your Own Pumpkin patch, hay rides, a petting zoo of farm animals and ox cart rides. Next year, York said he’s thinking about adding a zip line and maybe fireworks at the end.
“It’s not just about providing income but about the smiles on faces when people leave and we know they have had a good time,” he said.
Most people come back year after year with their children. It’s a good family experience, he said.