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Vandals hit agency twice in three months

A six-foot graffiti message spelling “Brains” wasn’t exactly the advertising the Springfield Salvation Army had in mind when it got a billboard for its annual fundraiser concert.

“It must have taken whoever did it hours to get that all done,” said. Capt. Steve Carroll, commander of Clark County’s operations. “Within two days of putting the billboard up, it was completely covered with graffiti.”

The billboard on Upper Valley Pike is one of two to advertise the Salvation Army’s annual fundraiser, which will feature Grammy-award winning band Casting Crowns. With a little less than two weeks until the concert and about half of the 3,400 tickets still for sale, Carroll said they needed every eyeball on the donated billboard.

Now the hope is to get it cleaned up before the big day.

Still, Carroll said the damage just reminds him that there’s much more work for his agency to do, helping at-risk children through their social programs.

“If our youth programs could have caught that probably teenager before he got to this point, maybe he wouldn’t be out there defacing other people’s property,” he said.

It’s the second time in three months vandals have struck the Salvation Army. On Dec. 28, the windows of its five buses were shattered. Good Samaritans in the community helped fix the damage.

Carroll said he’s not sure if his organization is being targeted so much as it is the victim of circumstance.

“When you’re doing good out in the community, and I think whenever your presence is larger, people will target you,” he said.

If all 3,400 tickets sell for the April 13 Casting Crowns concert at Wittenberg University’s HPER Center, the Salvation Army could collect as much as $100,000. Tickets are for sale at the Beacon of Hope, 1127 N. Bechtle Ave., or online at

Carroll said he hopes the vandal will attend.

“I’d get him a front row seat so he could hear the message that’s going to be spoken at the concert,” he said.

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