The Downtown San Leandro Community Benefit District has launched a fundraising campaign to replace holiday decorations valued at $16,000 that were destroyed by vandals last weekend.

Officials said vandals broke into a storage space the nonprofit uses to store holiday decorations, including a 20-foot Christmas tree and more than 20 6-foot tall nutcrackers. All but a handful of the figures were damaged beyond repair.

“When I walked in and saw the nutcrackers strewn about the floor, my heart just sank,” said Morgan Mack-Rose, the group’s executive director. “The nutcrackers signal the start of the holiday season here in San Leandro. Families walk or bike all around downtown to find them, and if they aren’t there this year, there will be a lot of disappointed kiddos.”

Mack-Rose started a GoFundMe campaign where people can contribute. Close to $2,400 had been raised as of Friday evening — enough to replace three of the damaged nutcrackers, according to a post on the organization’s Facebook page.

“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support and are hopeful that we will be able to continue this much-beloved tradition,” the post read.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

Dan McMenamin is the managing editor at Bay City News, directing daily news coverage of the 12-county greater Bay Area. He has worked for BCN since 2008 and has been managing editor since 2014 after previously serving as BCN’s San Francisco bureau reporter. A UC Davis graduate, he came to BCN after working for a newspaper and nonprofit in the Davis area. He handles staffing, including coaching of our interns, day-to-day coverage decisions and management of the newswire.