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By Sarah Favot


DUNSTABLE — A storm that destroyed half of a 5-acre corn maze would not stop 17-year-old Ben Goss from raising money for an organization that gave him so much.

Thanks to family, friends and even strangers offering to volunteer to reconstruct the corn maze at Goss Farm, the maze will open and Goss will be able to donate profits from the maze visitors to the Travis Roy Foundation, which is dedicated to helping individuals with spinal-cord injuries like Goss.

About 75 to 100 volunteers spent time inside the maze lifting up thousands of 9-foot-high corn stalks that were pummeled to the ground during a thunderstorm a couple weeks ago.

The Travis Roy Foundation, started by Roy, a Boston University hockey star who was injured during a hockey accident in 1995 and was left paralyzed, gave Goss a $5,000 grant after he was in a car accident three years ago that left him paralyzed from the chest down.

Goss wanted to give back.

His father, Wes Goss, owner and proprietor of the farm, said, a couple days after the Aug. 4 storm, that the family had planned on canceling the fundraiser because the damage to the corn maze was too great.

But his son was determined, the elder Goss said.

“Once he makes up his mind, you can’t change it,” he said.

In an interview at the farm, Ben Goss said he couldn’t let his father’s hard work be for nothing. For months his father wakes up at 4 a.m. to water the corm and doesn’t stop working until 9 p.m., he said.

“When I realized how much time he’s put into it, me and my brother both said we can’t let it go to waste,” Ben said.

The Goss family heard from family, friends, friends of friends and strangers asking what they could do to help.

“We couldn’t do it without them,” said Ben Goss. “It would be too much for us to do the load.”

Wes enlisted the help of friends who own a corn maze in New Hampshire to come by last weekend to begin to repair the damage wreaked upon the maze.

“I didn’t know how it was going to go until we got in there,” he said.

They installed plastic wire fences along the paths of the maze that suffered the most damage.

On Tuesday, some of the corn stalks that had been leaning over the fence began to straighten up.

“We still got a lot more to do, but it still can be done,” said Wes Goss said.

Ben Goss said he hopes the money he donates to the Travis Roy Foundation will be used for spinal-cord injury research and for grants like the one he received.

Thanks to the grant, Ben has special equipment that helps him get into his pickup truck from his wheelchair on his own and hand controls so he can drive it. The freedom of driving is a rite of passage for every 17-year-old.

He said the grant changed his life.

The maze opens on Sept. 8.

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