Donations are pouring in to the Orange County Model Engineers after news broke earlier this week that their facility was vandalized.
The Costa Mesa-Newport Harbor Lions Club has donated $1,000 to help the nonprofit group, as have other individuals and organizations.
All told, the train enthusiasts expect as much as $4,000 to come in by the end of this week, said member Hank Castignetti.
Police said thieves broke into the facility housing the ridable trains in Costa Mesa's Fairview Park on March 1 or 2 and stole between $7,000 and $9,000 worth of aluminum. Police said the thieves probably intend to sell it as valuable scrap.
“We're glad to support them,” said Lions Club President Mike Scheafer about the Model Engineers. “I hope the community steps up and really helps these guys out. They need it.”
Earlier this week, the Model Engineers also asked the public for a new soda machine and storage bins. A Coca-Cola executive who lives in Costa Mesa will be providing a Coke machine, Castignetti said, and some storage bins may be on the way as well.
The engineers will also have their usual donation box out this weekend during the train runs.