Missing Girl's 9th Birthday is Tuesday

KCRG/Gazette/Courier Staff Reports

Several dozen people gathered at the Price of Peace Church in Evansdale, Iowa on the morning of on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 to decorate cupcakes in honor of Elizabeth Collins, 8, and Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, who have been missing for 18 days. Today (Tuesday) is Elizabeth's birthday. (RICK CHASE / Courier Staff Photographer)

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By Aaron Hepker

EVANSDALE, Iowa – Hope comes in many forms for the community of Evansdale. Tuesday, it came in the form of cupcakes.

By the end of the day all the mini cakes --- organizers estimate there are about 1,500 --- will be frosted, sprinkled and delivered to just some of the many volunteers who have helped search for Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey who went missing July 13 from Evansdale.

Tuesday is Elizabeth's 9th birthday.

“I think it is an amazing opportunity for kids to come together and show that they care about their community, to honor Elizabeth’s birthday,” said Poyner Kindergarten Teacher and Event Organizer Heather Smith. "We still have hope for Lyric and Elizabeth and we will not give up searching for them."

Kids will do a lot of the work. They’ll decorate cupcakes and thank you cards, and then parents will deliver them. The sweet treats will go out to more than one hundred businesses that donated food, time or supplies during the search for the two girls.

Poyner Principal Trista Manternach helped organize the cupcake event. "At Poyner, we wanted to do something to bring our families together. When we realized Elizabeth's birthday was today we thought it was the perfect opportunity and it gave us a purpose," said Trista Manternach, the Poyner Elementary School principal, where Elizabeth is enrolled. “I just want the kids to know no matter how we come together, no matter how we know each other that there’s always hope alive that we will find the girls safely,” Manternach said.

Organizers wished Elizabeth a happy birthday and said it would be the perfect day for both girls to come home.

Manternach said volunteers are standing by to begin taking the finished treats out to the businesses that donated manpower and supplied for the search effort. Young children, and adults, attending the event are also making cards thanking the volunteers for their help.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to call 319-232-6682. A $50,000 reward is being offered in the case.

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