By Sarah Favot
DUNSTABLE — Ben Goss had hoped to give back to the charity that had given so much to him.
Wes Goss, Ben’s father, had planned to donate most of the proceeds earned from the farm’s corn maize, which opens in September and runs through October, to the Travis Roy Foundation, dedicated to helping individuals with spinal cord injuries.
But Saturday night’s thunderstorm and heavy winds destroyed more than half of the farm’s five-acre corn maize, forcing the Gosses to cancel the fundraiser and close the maize for the year.
“Devastation, as I call it,” Wes said as he showed the damage to the maize.
Ben Goss, 17, was in a car accident in July 2009 where a car he was was riding in crashed into a tree. The accident left him paralyzed from the chest down.
He spent five months at a rehab center in Atlanta.
The Travis Roy Foundation gave him a gift of $5,000 to help purchase adaptive equipment for his Tacoma truck so he can drive. Roy became paralyzed during a hockey accident in 1995 while he was playing for Boston University.
Roy started the foundation two years later to enhance the lives of people who have spinal cord injuries and to fund research.
Wes Goss had designed the corn maize so that the Foundation’s logo and Roy’s hockey number could be seen from the top of the maize.
Thousands of 7-foot tall corn stalks were knocked over Saturday night and are now laying flat to the ground. The destroyed corn stalks are in large pockets around the maize, making it almost impossible to repair.
“You just don’t fix this. You want to, but you don’t,” Wes Goss said Monday, as he surveyed the damage around the perimeter of the maze.
When Ben saw the damage, Wes said, he just wanted to cut down all of the corn stalks, to get rid of the constant reminder of what happened.
“He doesn’t want to look at it,” said Wes.
Saturday’s storm also knocked down two huge pine trees on Goss’ property. Several power outages were reported across town.
The Goss Farm corn maize usually attracts 500 to 600 people every Saturday and Sunday in the September and October, Goss said.
He planted the crop in June.
“Its the best corn I’ve ever had here,” he said.
Goss is also feeling the emotional loss of losing months of work and tending to the corn field.
“You get almost attached, you’ve nurtured it, you’ve watched it grow,” he said.
Goss said Ben is determined to give back to the Travis Roy Foundation and will be planning another fundraiser soon.
Follow Sarah Favot on Twitter @sarahfavot.