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Mollie Tibbetts memorial fund receives over $18,000 to raise mental health awareness

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) - A group of runners raised over $18,000 for the Mollie Tibbetts Memorial Fund for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Five runners ran 100k from Iowa City to Davenport and donated the money raised to the UI Stead Family Children's Hospital. A check for $18,108.50 was gifted Wednesday in front of Kinnick Stadium.

"They wanted to highlight the importance of youth mental health as an area needing investment, an area needing everyone's focus, and at the same time remember Mollie Tibbetts," UIHC Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Hanna Stevens said.

Mollie Tibbetts was a University of Iowa student studying to become a child psychologist before she was killed in 2018.

Tibbetts' mother attended the check presentation and said it's great to know people continue to remember Mollie by donating to the fund years following her passing.

"I'm honored that people remember because that doesn't always happen so we're blessed in that way," Mollie Tibbetts' Mother Laura Calderwood said, "It was an honor to meet these people that went out and ran all these miles to raise money for the fund."

Mollie's brother was also there, and said the money raised supports what his sister studied and stood for.

"They ran, and that's something that Mollie loved and they donated it to a cause that she was so strongly passionate about, child psychiatry. I think it just sounded like the perfect fundraiser," Mollie Tibbetts' Brother Scott Tibbetts said, "Whenever she talked about it, it was something you can tell she felt strongly about and I'm glad that we're able to raise money in her name for something like that."

The money will go toward creating more outreach in the community and serve those struggling with mental health. The memorial fund for Mollie has raised over $145,000 since it was created in 2018. If you would like to make a gift to the fund, you can do so here.

The runners made the trek May 22, the same week Cristhian Bahena Rivera was convicted in the murder of Mollie, and hope to do it again next year.

The five runners were Austin Chesney, Curt Johnson, John O'Brien, Chris Brooks, and Rich Russell. They ran from Kinnick Stadium/Stead Family Children's Hospital to Public House Davenport, which is owned by Chesney.

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Diego Hernandez

Multimedia Journalist

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