Streetsboro Family Days, Stringz & Wingz at odds over fundraiser

by Bob Gaetjens | Editor Published:

On Nov. 15 and 16, Streetsboro Family Days, in partnership with Stringz & Wingz, hosted a fundraising concert for the family of Sonny Geraci, a longtime performer at the summer festival.

The concert went well, according to Streetsboro Family Days Founder Chuck Kocisko, raising more than $28,860 for Geraci's family, which hopes to use the money to defray medical costs incurred when the lead singer for The Outsiders experienced an aneurysm about 18 months ago.

However, Streetsboro Family Days hasn't received the money from Stringz & Wingz Owner "Chef" Bill Thompson, who collected funds at the event, said Kocisko.

"In the weeks that followed, Bill would return my calls and/or emails with excuses and 'no-shows' to previously scheduled on-site meetings to collect monies," said Kocisko.

Thompson said he plans to pay about $23,860 to Streetsboro Family Days Jan. 3, which is the total less $4,796 in costs he said he had originally planned to donate but now will not.

Kocisko said he would not pursue charges if he receives a check for $23,860 Jan. 3.

Kocisko filed a police report with the Streetsboro Police Department Dec. 30, alleging that Thompson hasn't turned the money over, according to Streetsboro Police Lt. Darin Powers.

Powers said the matter is "under investigation." Only a portion of the report was available as of deadline because the entire report was not yet "approved," according to Powers.

Powers said he isn't sure yet what, if any, charges may be filed.

Thompson said there was no written contract between Streetsboro Family Days and him or Stringz & Wingz outlining responsibilities in the fundraiser, and no deadline to pay the money back had been set.

The reason Thompson said it's taken a long time to pay the non-profit back is because PayPal put a three-week hold on about 300 transactions by people paying online for tickets to the two-day concert.

"It took me six weeks to account for everything," said Thompson.


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  • Here is some investigating for you... Bad checks in 2012:*docket_lst?98495902

    Here's some more.... Being sued for non payment at his former location:*docket_lst?63404943

    He has a history of bad debt and I find it awfully strange that he can't seem to come up with the money. He had it all accounted for at least 2 weeks after the benefit and gave numerous excuses as to why it didn't appear.... problem at the bank.... PayPal not working, no show for meetings to hand over the money.

    The truth is, he kept it hoping to have some more packed nights to make up for it and that didn't happen. Partly because he cannot control his temper or his mouth on social media. 

    I'm sorry, Martin, he has taken the money to try and get himself out of debt because he has exhausted all other resources around town. He has borrowed so much money from other business owners, sold portions of his business to try and get money but he has yet to pay back any of those people.

    Someone suggested a fundraiser for him.... to do what? Raise funds to pay back the fundraiser he took from?


  • Once again I go back to, if this article wasn't printed he wouldn't even make an attempt to pay back the money.  There have been plenty of people that have had deals with this man and they've gotten burned by him. Wolf in sheeps clothing. 

  • On that paypal account, it depends if whether a separate account was made for the fund raiser or if it was part of the Stringz&Wingz normal account.  If the account is not confirmed with your bank, it could take up to 30 days for the money to be transferred especially with such a large sum.  Go to Paypay and look up their conditions of payments.

    Bill Thompson will make good on the money and for the amount that he puts back into the community, I think we should allow him the time.

    For those chastising him, get a life.  Maybe if your relationship with Bill was not what it is, you wouldn't be saying it and yes, the Gateway should have held off until they had more information.  I have discovered over the years that the least likely place to receive accurate information is the local news papers.  Everything you read should be done with tongue-in-cheek.  Rarely these days will you see reporting that had indepth involvement in it's creation.

    If two months had gone by and the paper had the completed reports, then it would be a different story.

    No pun intended.

    Martin Fleming

  • Here's your update..... This "upstanding man" didn't pay like he said he would. But I'm sure he had a good reason.... let's hear some reasons, from his loyal backers, as to why he didn't come up with the money. 

  • I'm trying figure out how people are defending him and attacking this article. The first question anyone should ask is where's the money? Not, why did they write this article. The article was written to bring attention to the fact the money is missing. If this was someone in your family that needed the money you'd be banging on his door everyday demanding the cash, not defending him 

  • Bottom line- Bill needs to pay the money to the family and stop all of all shenanigans. People attended the event as a charity to help Sonny- not to hand money to a man who has no business sense, allowing his business to be in the red for 3 of the 4 years it has been in operation. There's no good reason for it to take this long to get the funds where they belong. PERIOD.

  • I'm sorry, common sense would say that the money would be handed over that night or within a week at the latest. Today is friday and the money still hasn't been turned over. I really don't see it happening either.

    This article was published for the public. The citizens of streetsboro, the performers and all the others that attended this concert assumed their money was going to help the Geraci family. They all had good intentions by attending.

    Your argument of "there was no time line" is  invalid. It did not take 6 weeks to account for everything, he gave the final count a week or 2 after the event. He had accounted for everything. The Paypal excuse is also invalid. Paypal does not hold your money for 3 weeks. At most it will put a 10 day hold for a new, unverified user. I know, I deal with Paypal daily.

    The fact remains (thru Public record) he has some serious debt over his head. That would make one question the length of time he has been holding the money.

  • I agree with GinnySee. I think this article was published prematurely and misrepresents the situation. Bill Thompson has done nothing to deserve this bad press; he never once said he was NOT handing over funds raised in the fundraiser. I firmly believe had there been a time frame for which to hand over funds, Bill would have abided by those guidelines. I have known Bill Thompson a very long time; I sincerely do not believe the man is in business to rip off innocent people. He has done too mch good for me to believe such a thing. I hope others are also able to see the foolishness in this pointless article, as well.

  • I find it hard to believe that Bill Thompson (who has done so much for this community) would even consider stealing from a seriously ill human being- as this article implies. Did you even investigate any of the information you printed prior to jumping to the press? Did you check out the PayPal situation? Did you check with Bill Thompson to verify the information you printed with regard to him dodging meeting was both accurate and correct?

    This is article is a joke. Anyone who reads it and thinks less of Bill Thompson is just plain foolish.

  • Publishing this article was just foolish. Bill Thompson has agreed to pay the money; if there was no timeline defined within the agreement, he has done nothing wrong. This is the kind of nonsense publicity that causes Streetsboro to look ridiculous. Shame on you , Gateway News.

  • A refresher course in basic journalism would help quite a few of the Gateway staff.

  • user_22059,

    You should not do the alcohol and drugs together.  It causes you to make posts like you did.

    I would recommend you put your computer in a locked room and give someone else the key when you party like that.

    Martin Fleming

  • As a regular to all of Chef Bill's events, I am sticking by this upstanding man. The truth will come out and it will be revealed that he has done no wrong. He has fed my family  when we were short on cash, hosted birthday parties in his establishment to save us from hall rental fees and so much more. Maybe it is high time we get together and help HIM, rather than banding together to burn him at the stake. Maybe we should have fundraiser to help our friend rather than runnig him down. He is in poor health as it it- he needs to community to rally around him. The community is US.