Annual Holiday Lights Contest

Need a diversion while you’re cooped up at home because of the pandemic? Want $25 to buy some carryout or holiday gifts? Well then, you should decorate your house for the holidays.

The Merle Hay Neighborhood Association will sponsor its 16th annual Holiday Lights contest this winter. Judging will take place in mid-December. If you would like to ensure your house is included in judging, please contact April at 515-707- 6386. Your home or your neighbor’s home may be considered for a prize even if you don’t contact us. Three homes will be awarded a $25 gift card. Judges will be looking for creativity, originality, holiday spirit, neatness and theme coordination.

Checking out holiday lights is a great social-distancing activity while we wait to bid COVID-19 adieu, so we encourage as many people as possible to decorate their homes!

MHNA’s 2021 Calendar

Everyone’s ready to put 2020 behind them, right? 🙂 Here’s to looking ahead to 2021 and making it a great year in the Merle Hay neighborhood.

MHNA meets on the third Thursday in January, April, July, and October. Unless otherwise noted, the meetings start at 6:30 p.m. The 2021 meetings will be held on January 21, April 15, July 15, and October 21.

We anticipate holding online meetings until things improve with the pandemic. Please make sure we have your email address so we can keep you updated. Online meeting invites are sent to active members and we also livestream on our Facebook page, which can be found at:

Once we are able to safely resume in-person meetings, we plan to gather at the Northwest Community Center, 5110 Franklin Ave.

Please mark your calendars and help spread the word!

Help MHNA Keep the Kids Warm

The Merle Hay Neighborhood Association is once again collecting clothing donations for elementary school children through our Keep the Kids Warm program. There is time to donate, and your help is greatly appreciated.

This year, we are collecting winter clothing for students at Hillis Elementary School. Donations of new coats, boots, stocking hats, gloves, and mittens are welcome. The following sizes are needed: Coats (boys and girls): 6/6x, 7/8, 10/12, 16 or 18. Boots (boys and girls): 1, 2, and 3.

For more information about the clothing drive or to make a donation, contact Kathy Battles by email at, or 515.865.3040. If you would like to drop your monetary or clothing donations at Kathy’s home due to COVID-19, please feel free to do so. Her home address is 2729 62nd St., and she will be happy to collect everything for the kids at Hillis. Please call ahead. The deadline to donate is Saturday, November 21.

Pay MHNA Dues with PayPal

MHNA dues are now payable using PayPal. If you have a PayPal account, paying your annual dues is as simple as sending a payment to MHNA’s email address: Amounts for annual dues are $15 for individuals, $30 for a couple, $30 for a business, and $10 for a school or church.

MHNA Meeting on October 15

MHNA will host its next quarterly meeting on the Zoom platform at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday October 15. Please make sure your membership dues are current and we have a current email address for you so we can send you the Zoom meeting credentials.

We expect to be joined by Ward I City Councilman Bill Gray, who will share updates on city issues in our neighborhood and elsewhere in northwest Des Moines. We are also trying to line up a forester to share information and field questions about tree care and planting in the aftermath of the derecho that ripped through Iowa in August and destroyed thousands of trees.

We also expect to have public safety updates from our Neighborhood Based Service Delivery officer, along with a host of other neighborhood updates.

Please mark your calendars and join us via Zoom on October 15! We plan to live-stream the meeting on the neighborhood Facebook page: