By David F. Rooney
Rotarians and Glacier Challenge organizers received a tremendous shock Friday morning when they arrived at Centennial Park to finish setting up for this weekend’s softball tournament.
Overnight, vandals had slashed six tents owned by the Rotary Club in the beer garden area causing thousands of dollars in damage. The tents are not insured.
“I don’t understand it,” said Rotary Club President Chuck Ferguson. “This is like charity work. We do this for the community and then someone comes along and does this?
“In hindsight I guess we should have had someone down here overnight but we never imagined something like this.”
Ferguson said there have been very minor incidents involving local youths in the past but nothing on this scale.
Organizing Committee Chairman Brad Beerling said the incident is a terrible way to start the three-day tournament but he and the rest of the committee will just soldier on.
“If we have good weather everyone will still have a really good time,” he said.
The vandals — believed to be local teens — slashed all of the tents and cut gaping holes in some of them, including the “brand-new, just-out-of-the-box” main stage tent, said organizing committee member Mark McKee.
“The sad thing is the Rotary Club is down here making money to finance community-based projects,” he said. “Now all that money they could be spending in the community will be spent replacing the tents.
RCMP Cpl. Rod Wiebe said in a statement that police currently have three subjects in custody.
“All are young persons as defined by the Youth Criminal Justice Act and all are from Revelstoke,” he said. “Charges have not been laid and the investigation is continuing.”
Here are two photos showing some of the damage: