More than $3,000 raised day after Merrimack Valley Paintball in Candia vandalized
CANDIA - The owner of a local paintball company found his course vandalized and was going to cancel a tournament but this only made his team pull together.
When Tony Fiore - the owner of Merrimack Valley Paintball - came to work Sunday morning he thought he would find his field the way he left it the night before, but instead was shocked by what he and members of his paintball team discovered.
"Profanity written on our bunkers, our bunkers slashed our netting damaged," said Brenten Cupp, who is an assistant manager at Merrimack Valley Paintball and also owns the pro shop.
Members of their paintball team planned a three-man speed ball tournament and spent many hours this week setting up new inflatable bunkers on a new turf. This was both an expensive and time-consuming process.
"A lot of the guys were all excited to come play and they didn't even get a chance to do that", said Fiore, "It hasn't even been installed for 48 hours yet we just installed them on Friday night" he said.
Whoever did the damage, slit about forty of the fifty bunkers to a point where they couldn't be repaired. Profanity was spray painted across a trailer and several of the bunkers, and there were multiple slashes in their net. The damages totaling about 10 thousand dollars.
"Devastated, I mean, this just isn't a business to me, this is my home, these guys they are my family," explained Cupp, "I mean you go into someone's home and you destroy their stuff you are destroying a piece of them."
Despite the vandalism, the team pulled together and they still held their tournament.
"We rallied together we brought some of our old bunkers and fixed our net and we still played the game that we love" said Cupp.
Fiore explained the paintball community really came together, to support what happened. He said that's why he loves paintball, for the family-like community.
The investigation is on-going, anyone who saw or heard anything should contact the Candia police department. The paintball team is also issuing a growing reward for any information or leads and they've also set up a GoFundMe page.