Category Archives: Events

MHNA’s Annual Meeting on Jan. 19

Please join the Merle Hay Neighborhood Association for its annual meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 19 at the Northwest Community Center, 5110 Franklin Ave. We plan to be joined by Stephanie Murphy from the Neighborhood Finance Corp. to hear the latest about home lending opportunities (some forgivable!) in our neighborhood. We also hope to receive an update on the Merle Hay Corridor Study, and we’re working on having a neighborhood business join us to tell us a little about their business and answer questions.

We’ll also have public safety updates, President April Wyss’s annual report, neighborhood news, and officer and board elections. As always, we welcome ideas and
suggestions from residents and businesses on what we should focus on in 2023. Feedback may be submitted in advance by email to
Please mark your calendars and invite your neighbors!

Help MHNA Keep the Kids Warm!

The Merle Hay Neighborhood Association is once again collecting new clothing donations for elementary school children through our Keep the Kids Warm program at the October quarterly meeting.

This year, we are collecting winter clothing for students at Hillis Elementary School. Donations of NEW coats, boots, stocking hats, gloves, snow pants and mittens are welcome. The following sizes are needed:

Coats & snow pants- (boys and girls): 6/6x, 7/8, 10/12, 16 or 18.
Boots (boys and girls): 1, 2, and 3, 4
Gloves (boys and girls): S, M, L & XL

We will also gladly accept monetary donations (checks made out to MHNA) and handle the shopping.

For more information about the clothing drive or to make a clothing or monetary 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, please feel free to do so. Her home address is 2729 62nd St., and she will also be happy to pick up things from your home for the kids at Hillis.

Please call ahead.

Our cut off time is November 14th so we can get them to the kids before Thanksgiving break.

Your help is greatly appreciated!

Join MHNA for National Night Out on Aug. 2

***Please note the venue change due to high heat!***

Please join the Merle Hay Neighborhood Association for our annual observance of National Night Out, America’s night out against crime, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 2 at Franklin Jr. High at 4801 Franklin Ave. We will be in the atrium of the auditorium, which is on the north side of the building by the large parking lot (in the same area as the Beaverdale Farmers Market). Our MHNA sign will be outside to mark the entrance.

There will be games and crafts for kids, family-friendly entertainment, door prizes, and great tips and information from public safety personnel about how to safeguard you, your loved ones, and your property. Cold refreshments and snacks will be provided!

National Night Out is a great way to meet your neighbors and learn more about safety within your home and while you’re out and about. Please help spread the word! We look forward to having a great turnout. Contact April Wyss at 515-707-6386 to volunteer, donate, or have a booth.

Merle HayDay rescheduled to June 28

The Merle Hay Neighborhood Association is celebrating our namesake with vendors, cool treats, prizes, and fun! Join us at the Tower Park shelter at 4900 Hickman Road in Des Moines from 6-8PM on Tuesday, June 28th!

Cool off in the Tower sprayground, take a few jumps in the bounce house, or play a bit of pickleball or basketball. This event is all about bringing the neighborhood together and celebrating Merle Hay, the first Iowan, and possibly the first American, to sacrifice his life for his country in WWI. We will also have information about the Merle Hay Corridor improvements and you’ll have an opportunity to give some input!

Des Moines Water Works H2Go station is sure to be a hit with the hot temps, and thanks to Des Moines Corporate Games and Live Healthy Iowa, we have water bottles to rehydrate you! With the Beaverdale Farmer’s Market close by, good food and music are only a few steps away.

Thank you to Ace Hardware on Hickman, Banker’s Trust Company, Neighborhood Finance Corp., Franklin Library, Hop A Lot, Bolton & Menk, Pat Meiners, Price Chopper Merle Hay, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines Corporate Games, and Live Healthy Iowa for all you have done to make this event possible! Another big Thank You to the volunteers who help plan, setup, and make the night go smoothly!

MHNA’s Annual Holiday Lights Contest

Judging for the Merle Hay Neighborhood Association’s 17th annual Holiday Lights contest this winter will take place the weekend of December 17. 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. We encourage as many people as possible to decorate their homes and thank everyone who makes our neighborhood a little brighter this holiday season!