Tent damaged by vandals could cost Museum L-A up to $2,000

Disa Fedorowicz/Facebook

A photograph of the tent that was damaged before the incident.

LEWISTON — What started as a weekend high note for Museum L-A's inaugural Bands on the Run Half Marathon & 5K road race Sunday ended on a low note Monday morning when cleanup crews arrived to find a slashed-up tent.

The overnight vandals could cost the fundraiser upward of $2,000 to repair the tent.

"It's just disheartening," said Rachel Desgrosseilliers, executive director of Museum L-A. "A lot of people put their hearts into it and to just have them take away $2,000 is like, 'Whoa! That's hard-earned money.'"

It's money Desgrosseilliers said the museum is committed to paying to repair the tent it borrowed from Great Falls Balloon Festival organizers. She said organizers for upcoming events were kind enough to loan the tent to the museum for the race, and the museum intends to repair it in time for the balloon festival in August.

The money, however, will likely come from the event's profit, which was expected to be between $8,000 and $10,000.

Desgrosseilliers said the tent was left at Simard/Payne Memorial Park, which served as the site for the road race's after-party on Sunday. She said the tent couldn't be picked up until Monday morning, so organizers left it up in the park overnight.

When people arrived Monday morning to get the tent, they discovered several slashes in it. According to the Lewiston Police Department, the vandalism was reported Monday morning at 8:45 a.m. by the City of Lewiston.

Vandalism to festival tents set up at Simard/Payne Memorial Park is not a new occurrence. In fact, the weekend slashing was the second in less than a year to happen at the lower downtown Lewiston park.

In October 2011, Lewiston-Auburn Tent & Awning Co. Inc. reported that vandals slashed more than five dozen 2-inch ratchet ropes holding up tents set up at the park in preparation for the Dempsey Challenge, a fundraiser for the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing.

"It's not going to dampen our spirit," Desgrosseilliers said. "You have to move on. I just wish these (vandals) would realize that life is not just about you. It's about other people."

ahannon@sunjournal.com

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Comments

DOUGLAS TAYLOR's picture

What were they thinking?

Do these people think they are leaving their tent in Cape Elizabeth or Martha's Vineyard? Why would they think they could leave a tent set up in one of Lewistons parks? I feel bad for them because as we all know, money does not grow on trees. I hate it when people cause other people problems!

DOUGLAS TAYLOR's picture

What were they thinking?

Do these people think they are leaving their tent in Cape Elizabeth or Martha's Vineyard? Why would they think they could leave a tent set up in one of Lewistons parks? I feel bad for them because as we all know, money does not grow on trees. I hate it when people cause other people problems!

David Pinkham's picture

Sorry, but if they knew this

Sorry, but if they knew this had happened at the Dempsey they should have taken appropriate measures. The cops are busy enough keeping guns and violent criminals off the streets, it's too much to ask them to babysit possessions.

 's picture

The vandals...

...need to be caught and made to pay for their idiocy.

MEGAN PARKS's picture

So sad

What a disappointment for both the organizers and participants of these fundraisers. For a community that is trying its hardest to reshape their image, something like this is devastating.

I would be willing to put money on it that the vandals that did this are the same people who constantly complain about how 'scummy' Lewiston is... Perpetuating the bad image both verbally and by their actions.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Its a smack in the face...

Something like this is a smack in the face to the whole community. Having gone to so much trouble to put on such an enjoyable event, and provide a nice time for families, not just from L/A, but all over. To help a worthy cause, that will benefit many people. Then to read that this also happened with the Dempsey Challenge, a fund raiser to help save peoples lives, is to me way more than just vandalism.
Its a blow to the effort to improve the image of Lewiston Auburn. The community has taken great strides to change both the appearance and reputation of the area to promote families. One stupid act, takes away from that effort. Unfortunately, short of putting security cameras everywhere, these acts are going to continue. If someone is caught, they need to be punished, not allowed to plea. If they get just a slap on the wrist, nothing is going to be accomplished....

Most likely kids

I'm sorry to hear of the vandalism of this tent and other tents in the past year, but the most likely culprits are kids in the city that have no one watching them. They are free to roam all night long in some instances because they are from homes that could care less what their kids are up to or where they are. Most good parents are aware of where their kids are, but I have seen young kids roaming around at 11 o'clock at night when I am heading for work for 3rd shift. Maybe the police should be patrolling the streets more in these areas....

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