Fundraiser at Cedar Falls Church Helps Continue Search for Missing Girls

By Jillian Petrus, Reporter

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By Jay Knoll

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – On Sunday, people gathered at Heartland Vineyard Church in Cedar Falls to remember 9-year-old Elizabeth Collins and 10-year-old Lyric Cook.

Investigators believe these girls were abducted from Evansdale on July 13th.

Volunteers at the event sold t-shirts, wristbands and auctioned items all to raise money for continued search efforts.

But organizers say what would have made this event even better, is if they didn't need to host it at all.

"We always planned on this date, but said it'd be a blessing if we had to cancel the event,” said Jessica Kroymann, lead organizer for the fundraiser. “It’s one of those bittersweet moments where, we don’t want to be here, but we’re happy everyone came out.”

The family friendly fundraiser started at 3:00 PM and went off as scheduled despite high hopes for the girls fast and safe return.

It made the day especially heart wrenching for Heather and Drew Collins, parents of 9-year-old Elizabeth.

"We know there's someone out there that knows something,” Drew said, “Someone that saw something little. They might not even think it's important, or maybe they're scared to come forward."

As the couple waits for that one witness, clue, or lead to come in, people give their money, time and commitment to the search.

Volunteer and member of Heartland Vineyard Church, Tracy McNamara, became overwhelmed by emotions telling us how heartbroken she’d be if her child went missing.

“We all want the girls found,” McNamara said, “and if faith brings us closer together that's what God wants."

Sunday, Heather and Drew Collins both said they are not disappointed with any of the law enforcement agencies working their daughter’s case. They are thankful and encouraged by all the community support. But at the end of the day, they just want their little girl to come home.

"It's not our judgment on you we're not judging you,” Heather said, “We forgave you, God forgave you - we just want them back."

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