“We saw that it was gone and said, 'Why don't we just replace it,'” said Janelle Sherako, who, along with husband Dave, solicited the help of neighbors on Facebook to find decorations and a suitable replacement tree.
A new replacement pine was donated by Green Gardens Nursery on Cass Street.
“We'd just gotten sick of all of all the vandalism and the problems with transients in the community, and we just decided we weren't going to let this ruin our community,” Janelle Sherako added. “It wasn't fair. So we decided to take (our community) back.”
Other families contributing their time and energy to voluntarily restore the communal tree were the families of Mike Mason, Rachel Allen, Kristin Everett and Melissa and Darin Busby.
Once the tree was restored, Sherako added, “People were ecstatic when they saw it put up suddenly. It was really nice to see how much it affected everyone around us.
Sherako added CVS Pharmacy on Mission Boulevard also pitched in for the good cause, selling decorations for the tree at a 50 percent discount.
The huge Christmas tree on the end of Crystal Pier was vandalized sometime early Saturday morning Dec. 17. It was tossed off the pier into the ocean, where it washed up on the beach a couple of days later near the Pacific Beach Lifeguard Station at 700 Ocean Blvd.
“Someone pulled down one side of the fence (that guarded the tree), undid the ties that hold the tree firmly in place, stomped on the packages that were out there, and tossed the tree over the railing,” said Meggan Buscho, manager of Crystal Pier Hotel and Cottages at 4500 Ocean Blvd. “The local community had been asking where the tree had gone. They were very upset. It affected a lot of people in the community. It was unfortunate.”
The 15- to 20-foot pine tree is donated to Pacific Beach for the community's annual Christmas on the Pier celebration by Christmas Tree Country, a seasonal tree lot at 870 Garnet Ave.