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Historic Rural Hill launches $100,000 campaign

This aerial photo shows this fall’s corn maze at Historic Rural Hill in north Mecklenburg
This aerial photo shows this fall’s corn maze at Historic Rural Hill in north Mecklenburg Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation

Still reeling from the drought that stunted its annual corn maze, Historic Rural Hill has launched a $100,000 fundraising campaign to replenish its budget.

The corn for Rural Hill’s largest fundraiser, the Amazing Maize Maze, was too brittle and short to run night mazes and to keep the maze open as long as usual, Executive Director Jeff Fissel said.

“An event which should bring in almost $250,000 for our operating expenses only brought in $55,000,” he said.

When rain finally came, downpours forced Rural Hill to cancel several other events. Rain also hurt attendance at Rural Hill’s Fall Food Truck Rally and Sheepdog Trials.

“It has been a year of devastating weather,” Fissel said.

Rural Hill is a nonprofit, 265-acre historic site, nature preserve and farm off Neck Road in northwest Mecklenburg County that hosts various cultural events each year. The site is the former 1765 homestead of Major John and Violet Davidson.

Revenue from its corn maze and other events helps Rural Hill provide educational programs to at least 3,000 students annually. Other events at Rural Hill include the North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival, Rural Hill Scottish Festival and Loch Norman Highland Games.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise money for Rural Hill. As of Wednesday, 105 people had donated a total of $8,495 on the site.

Anyone interested in making a larger donation or becoming an event sponsor is asked to email Fissel at jeff@ruralhill.net.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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