BROOKLYN, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) "Every day that would be the first thing I would wake up and see if Mollie was found," said California Resident Mary Spinnetti."The day that Tuesday when her body was found, I woke up that morning and just cried."
People across the country say the death of Mollie Tibbetts has shattered their hearts. Now, they're trying to do what they can to help her loved ones.It's part of "Mollie's Movement," the campaign to spread random acts of kindness in Mollie's name. It's now gained traction across the country.
Authorities found her body in a cornfield in Poweshiek County on Tuesday. She disappeared more than a month ago while out on a jog in Brooklyn, July 18. Investigators believe 24-year-old Cristhian Rivera killed the 20-year-old. He faces life in prison, if convicted on a first-degree murder charge.
Morgan Baustian came to Front Street Tap's bag tournament Saturday to support the woman she describes as one of the joyous, kindest people she's ever met. Tibbetts used to dog sit during the summertime for Morgan.
"She and my dog just became like best friends," said Baustian.
The tournament was first planned a week ago when Mollie was still missing. Originally, funds raised were to be used to find the once missing University of Iowa student. Instead, it's turned into a celebration of her life. People drank, played and shared memories.
"Everything with Mollie is happy," said Baustian. "There are no bad memories because she's always smiling."
The fundraiser is also part of "Mollie's Movement," a campaign to spread random acts of kindness in Tibbetts' name.
"Be loving to one another, don't judge each other, that's all Mollie really wanted in this world," said Baustian. "Mollie would do anything for anybody."
"Mollie's Movement" started in Iowa, but has now gained traction across the country, including her home state of California.
"Mollie could have been me, it could have been anybody so I just felt a connection with Mollie," said Spinnetti.
"Everybody here wants to help the family as much as possible," said Patrick Dennigan.
Dennigan said he didn't know Tibbetts personally but volunteered his time and DJ equipment because it was just the right thing to do.
"Like everybody I'm shocked," said Dennigan. "It's small town Iowa, these types of things don't happen here."
"You just don't expect somebody, number one you just don't expect it in Brooklyn. Then, just somebody that caring, that loving, that non-judgemental...it just broke us all," said Baustian.
Now they're hoping to spread the memory of the wise, smiling girl she always knew.
All proceeds of the day are going to the Tibbetts family. Organizers said they're hoping to make the bags tournament an annual tradition for all missing kids.