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."