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Bloomsbury Farm reveals Big Brothers Big Sisters corn maze as the organization calls for more mentors

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 6:28 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cedar Rapids & East Central Iowa has a need for more mentors, especially since the pandemic, and Bloomsbury Farm in Atkins is showcasing the group in a big way with their annual corn maze.

Every year, Bloomsbury Farm honors a group in the area with their corn maze just in time for their fall season and thousands of visitors. Catherine VanDraska, the program development director at Big Brothers Big Sisters, said that spotlighting the organization this year couldn’t have come at a better time.

“Right now we have 131 kids currently seeking mentors,” VanDraska said.

That’s just in VanDraska’s district, which includes the Cedar Rapids and east central Iowa area.

“I know that with COVID and with the impact of schooling I mean kids are struggling and they just want an extra support,” VanDraska said.

Mentors with Big Brothers Big Sisters are known as “bigs,” and they’re matched up with young people on the waitlist known as “littles.”

For Bloomsbury Farm Manager Sammy Petersen, unveiling a corn maze featuring Big Brothers Big Sisters was special.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters has a very special place in my heart, I just happen to be a big, I’ve been matched with my little Aniela for over a year and it’s just been an amazing experience,” Petersen said.

10-year-old Aniela Montgomery got to help with the big reveal Tuesday morning. Each little we spoke with told us their favorite part of Big Brothers Big Sisters is time spent with their big.

As people get through the corn maze this fall, they’ll also get reminders of the organization and the hope is that more adults will consider becoming a big.

“I sometimes think I get more out of it than Aniela does. I don’t have children of my own so just being able to build a relationship with a young child and have a positive impact on her life has meant the world to me,” Petersen said.

Bloomsbury Farm will open for its sunflower festival on September 9.

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