Haunted Maze of Mania to benefit Grace Place
This year's Maze of Mania at 653 Laurie Lane, Hudson, is the result of two women's passion for Halloween haunted houses and desire to help those in need.
Sisters Lori Stromberg, Hudson, and Cindy Zorn, St. Paul, Minn., have spent the last five weekends transforming Stromberg's 1,500-square-foot pole barn into a spooky haunted maze.
This isn't their first experience creating haunted houses. Over a 15-year span the sisters, along with their families and friends, have made about four haunted houses.
"At first we had a Halloween party, and then we decided we should do it for a more worthy cause. So, four years ago we did it as a food drive for the Hudson Food Shelf," Stromberg said. "When I started volunteering with the Salvation Army two years ago, I thought, 'Hey, we could do this as a fundraiser.'"
Stromberg started planning the event with Salvation Army Fundraising Coordinator Lynn Berg last year and for the past month Stromberg and Zorn have worked with their husbands and children to design, build and decorate the Maze of Mania.
Over the years the sisters have acquired a plethora of props and costumes and they continue to buy new items to add to the detail in each scene and character.
"I've spent a lot of lunch hours shopping for costumes, makeup and props," said Stromberg.
Together, Stromberg and Zorn have spent about $500 to make the haunted maze a reality, but they say the help of nearly 20 volunteers is invaluable.
"It wouldn't be anything without all the characters; our friends, our family, our spouses," Zorn said.
Stromberg says it's a lot of work putting the maze together, but everyone has a lot of fun when they're dressed in character, scaring people for a good cause.
Stromberg said after volunteering at Grace Place, "I know the needs. I see the transition, I see people coming and going, and I know how much money it costs. I think that's the biggest satisfaction, if we can be successful and really contribute something to Grace Place besides what I do as a volunteer."
Zorn said they're hoping the maze generates a lot of money for the transitional living shelter.
"It would be satisfying to go to Grace Place with a big check. That would make it. We're hoping for a crowd of people," Zorn said.
Berg, who will be volunteering at the concession stand selling Stromberg's homemade cider and cookies, says everyone working or volunteering at Grace Place is excited for the maze as well.
"It's a fun way to increase awareness about the mission of Grace Place and the Salvation Army in our area. Donations will be used to help our residents attain self-sufficiency and become independent in our local communities," she said.
653 Laurie Lane, Hudson.
Oct. 22, 28 and 29, 7-11 p.m.
Cash only: $5 for ages 11 and older and $3 for children 10 and younger
(100 percent of proceeds go to Grace Place/Salvation Army)
Anyone interested in hosting an event to build awareness or raise funds to help support Grace Place programming is encouraged to contact Berg at 715-247-2944.