Mecosta Co. Family Makes Heartfelt, Generous Donation to Child Advocacy Center

A Mecosta County family is working to keep the memory their loved one alive through a heartfelt donation.

We followed 8 year old Bentley Thatcher’s story ever since he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain tumor known as a DIPG.

Bentley passed away last month.

Now his family is working to spread awareness about the disease while helping other children through their challenging times.

After Bentley passed away, his family met with a sergeant at the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office Bentley became close with to discuss how to keep Bentley’s memory alive while spreading awareness about the disease he battled.

They settled on donating some of the toys given to Bentley to the Open Arms Child Advocacy Center in Big Rapids.

“He was a very, very selfless child. Always worried about everyone else and he really did put everyone’s happiness ahead of his own, so we know that he would really be happy knowing that he’s putting a smile on other kids faces,” said Jennifer McCourt, Bentley’s Grandmother.

Amy Taylor is the executive director at the center.

She says a donation like this will impact the lives of countless children.

“It is comforting for them to have toys and to feel comfortable in this setting when they come in to this setting to come in and talk about what they have to talk about with us,” Taylor said.

It was often a toy or a book that would help comfort Bentley in his most challenging times.

His family hopes these toys do the same for other children caught up in what can be dark and difficult moments.

“Bentley would want to put a smile on other kids’ faces. When he was in treatment or going into surgery or other times, other families had donated toys and he would be given a toy and it would help lighten the load. It’s a little bit of good and happiness that can come out of a situation that’s really sad,” McCourt said.