Saturday 10AM Update: Walkers, Runners in 'Wave of Pink' Support Missing Girls, Families

KCRG/Gazette/Courier Staff Reports

Dominick Buchan, 9, left, of Waterloo, takes off at the start of the 5K Run/Walk/Ride/Stroll/Roll for Elizabeth & Lyric take off from RiverLoop Amphitheatre in Waterloo, Iowa on Saturday, July 21, 2012. Donations collected at the event will be given to the family of missing cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, of Waterloo, and Elizabeth Collins, 8, of Evansdale, who have been missing since July 13.(DAWN J. SAGERT / Courier Staff Photographer)

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By Aaron Hepker

WATERLOO, Iowa - A community waiting for some word of what happened to missing girls Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey found a way to take action Saturday morning.

A wave of pink-clad runners and walkers gathered in downtown Waterloo to support the girls and raise money for a fund started in their honor.

About 165 people gathered at the new riverside Waterloo RiverLoop Amphitheatre before setting off on the three-mile route.

Pastor Lance Bertram of Heartland Vineyard Church led a prayer before the start.

“I want you to keep these two girls in your hearts and minds and prayers,” he said before asking God to keep them safe.

After the surge of people turned out to help search Evansdale last week for the girls, many took to the Internet and Facebook to look for answers as they were no longer needed on the scene. That’s how the Saturday run/walk developed.

Angie Webb of Cedar Falls had posted about having some sort of walk/run on a Facebook paged dedicated to the two girls. The idea quickly gained traction.

“It was right after the public search had ended and people were itching for something do,” Webb said.

Soon Webb, Michelle Walker, JanMarie Phillips and Kyle and Lisa Helland were dividing out tasks in an effort to put together an event in a hurry. They were strangers when it began, but quickly got to know each other.

“We’ve had a lot of phone conversations and Facebook chats,” Walker said.

They talked to Trekman Racing and Runner’s Flat owner Scott Gaul for guidance on organizing and received help from the city of Waterloo.

Drew and Heather Collins, Elizabeth’s parents, walked the route among the mass of strangers who have shown support.

Webb thought a community event would help people stay invested in the search.

“We just hope to raise awareness and keep people in the community involved,” Webb said. “We want to get people hopeful again.”

First Security State Bank in Evansdale is taking donations. That’s where proceeds from the walk/run event went.

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