Public Safety

Mollie's Movement: Celebrate Mollie Tibbetts' 21st birthday with a donation to Brooklyn Opera House

Next week, on May 8, slain University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts would have turned 21 years old. In honor of her memory and her love of the arts, the Mollie’s Movement organization, which centers on community service in her name, is asking that donations of $21 be made toward the restoration of The Brooklyn Opera House.

An anonymous donor also will be matching the dollar amount for the first $500,000 in total donations raised, according to the news release.

“Mollie was an avid participant in theatre arts from the time she began her schooling at BGM Community Schools,” said Tibbetts’ mother, Laura Calderwood. “(The Brooklyn Opera House) is a building where Mollie’s grandmother, grandfather, mother, aunt, and uncle spent countless hours volunteering time and energy.”

The amount of money raised will be announced on May 8, at the Michael J. Manatt Community Center in Brooklyn. The public is invited to attend.

Event details will be posted on the Mollie’s Movement Facebook Page and the Brooklyn Opera House website

Tibbetts disappeared on July 18, 2018 while jogging in her hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa. The body of the rising sophomore was found roughly five weeks later in a cornfield just south of Guernsey in rural Poweshiek County.

The Medical Examiner’s Office found that Tibbetts had been stabbed multiple times.

Cristhian Bahena Rivera, a 24-year-old undocumented immigrant who had been living in the Brooklyn area for about seven years, was charged with first-degree murder in Tibbetts’ death. His arrest swiftly spurred calls for stronger immigration policies from state and federal legislators.


For five weeks, Tibbetts’ story captivated the country and much of the world. Her disappearance was a mystery everyone wanted to solve.

“Mollie was extraordinary in so many ways, but her gift was her genuine interest in the people she met,” said he father, Rob Tibbetts. “She saw in us all our best qualities and characteristics — our most heartfelt desires and aspirations, and all the things we love about the world. Mollie took those things and made them her own, in her own distinct way. In doing so her life was an evolving tapestry of the very best of us. Mollie was an irresistible reflection of everything we love in ourselves and why we will all love her so dearly for the rest of our lives.”

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