Caring teen, police chief offer families help for the holidays in Medicine Park
MEDICINE PARK Five families will celebrate Thanksgiving with a full traditional dinner thanks to the hard work of a local teenager.
Ben Roberts partnered with Medicine Park Police Chief Tom Adrahtas for what has become an annual Thanksgiving event. The 13-year-old has spent the last seven years raising awareness and food for less fortunate families in the cobblestone community. While the resort town's budding reputation is one of artistic flair and upper class living, there are still many who struggle to make ends meet each day. Roberts has made it his mission each year to help those families during the holiday season by using his birthday to spread the message.
"I started one year by telling everyone instead of bringing presents for my birthday, let's bring food so that we can donate it to needy families," he said.
This year, with the assistance of Adrahtas, Cosmetic Specialty Labs, Studio 49 and Dollar General, Roberts helped gather full turkeys and boxes full of canned goods, stuffing, cake mixes and other goodies to complete a traditional Thanksgiving meal. The food drive began Oct. 15 and continued right up until the last minute, Adrahtas said.
"I was in the store picking up some items when (the lady from Studio 49) came up to me and wanted to know what I was doing," he said. "I told her and she gave me $20 to help. So I went back and got more food to donate."
Aside from trying to drum up support to raise more food, Roberts has never bragged about his mission or accomplishments. Adrahtas said he was proud of the boy and all that he has done for the town of Medicine Park.
"I wish all kids were like him," he said. "There are people in the community that we need to take care of and he's helping to do that."