Mollie Tibbetts

Friends and family in Brooklyn remembered University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts Wednesday on what would have been her 21st birthday.

Tibbetts was murdered in July while out on a run. Mollie’s cousin, Morgan Collum, says they want people to remember Mollie by donating to worthy causes. One of those is the renovation of the Brooklyn Opera House and they are encouraging everyone to donate $21 to help restore the Opera House.

Collum says the restoration fits in with Mollie’s interests as she loved the arts and was very involved in speech and choir and plays. “My aunt Laura, who is Mollie’s mom, thought that it would be a wonderful opportunity to kind of pay legacy to Mollie to have people donate their money to help restore this building,” Collum says.

You can make a donation for the Brooklyn Opera House at There’s also an effort to find missing people called Mollie’s Movement. There are t-shirts and other items on sale to fund this. There’s more information at

Also on Wednesday, several restaurants in Brooklyn, Grinnell and Iowa City donated ten percent of the day’s proceeds to the University of Iowa Hospital’s children’s psychiatric unit. Collum says Mollie wanted to be a child psychiatrist.

(By Joe Lancello, KBOE, Oskaloosa)