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New Jersey Community Comes Together to Replace Vandalized Christmas Tree

A group of residents and a business owner came together Wednesday afternoon to replace Franklin Township’s Christmas tree, which, according to police, was vandalized earlier in the week.

Franklin Township’s police chief said detectives were combing through surveillance video near the tree’s location along Franklinville Lake to identify who was responsible for damaging it.

Rich Daubenspeck, who volunteers for the township’s recreation committee, first posted about the vandalism on Facebook.

He said the vandalism happened in the two days after the township got together to decorate the tree during its Christmas at the Center celebration.

“To break a tree off that the kids just loved, kind of disheartening is probably the best way to put it,” Daubenspeck said.

After he posted about the vandalism, he saw an outpouring of support, including from Bill Exley of Exley’s Christmas Tree Farm.

Exley donated a new tree, which a group of volunteers, including Daubenspeck, put up Wednesday.

“It was the least I could do for the situation,” Exley said. “I’d like to give another one because [it’s] that time of year when you want to give back.”

Daubenspeck said they’ll be inviting families Saturday afternoon to help redecorate the township’s new tree.

“It won’t take long to decorate our little tree,” Daubenspeck said. “It’s going to be about coming together as a community and saying, ‘Hey, so what, we’re moving on. It’s Christmas. Let’s have a great Christmas.'”

Franklin Township Police are asking anyone with information on the vandalism to email them at crimetips@franklintownship.com.

Source: CBS News