Streetsboro -- Since Streetsboro Family Days all but emptied its coffers earlier this month -- the balance is $500, according to Founder Chuck Kocisko -- to help the family of Sonny Geraci, fundraisers have proliferated for the non-profit that presents the summer festival of the same name each year.
"I'm going to have to hustle" to make sure the summer festival is a success this year, Kocisko said last week after donating most of the organization's savings to the family of Sonny Geraci, a Streetsboro Family Days regular who suffered an aneurysm a little more than 20 months ago.
After Streetsboro Family Days announced it had sent the Geraci family a check with proceeds from a November event at Stringz & Wingz to benefit them, fundraisers began to pop up to help out the non-profit.
"I am so overwhelmed with this whole thing, with people sending me emails and calling me on the phone," he said.
Kocisko said he spoke with community members doing fundraisers and has developed a list of "sanctioned" fundraisers, released in a Jan. 19 news release.
"We don't want some guy off the street saying he's doing a fundraiser," said Kocisko. "Then we'd be right back where we were."
The first event takes place Jan. 24 from 7-9 p.m. at The Guitar Shack, 9050 Route 14, which is owned by Rick and Christine Haylett.
The event takes place during a weekly jam session at the business. The event will feature a Chinese auction with gifts from a variety of items donated from local businesses. Funds raised will benefit Streetsboro Family Days.
Christine, a longtime volunteer with Streetsboro Family Days, said the couple wants to do what it can to support the festival.
"They're like a second family to me," she said.
During the event, attendees will also be able to let out their inner rocker by buying a guitar for $10 and smashing it, she added.
The Guitar Shack also will donate a guitar to the auction, which also will include items from Streets Bar & Grille, Blasiole's, Dunkin Donuts, Mike Ink's Tattoos, Once Loved Threads and more.
Beginning Jan. 25, Fred Mathis, head of Boro Dawgs Browns Fan Club, will raffle off a 2014 Harley-Davidson Street Glide Touring motorcycle, provided by Carlton Harley-Davidson of Mantua. Raffle tickets will sell for $10 each. The motorcycle is described in the news release as "a stripped down bagger style [bike] with highway comfort, modern technology and an unruly attitude." Taxes will be paid by the fan club. The winning ticket will be drawn at the conclusion of the Boro Dawgs Fan Club's First annual Poker Run and Ticket Party June 28. Tickets can be purchased at Chuggers Bar & Grill and from various fan club members through June 28.
Chuggers will host a fundraiser Feb. 22, featuring a voluntary cover charge to see "Shout" and "Legends of Soul" perform. The event will begin at 8 p.m. and will feature donated catering by Special Moments Catering and a variety of celebrity bartenders, including Mayor Glenn Broska.
Bob Evans Restaurant in Streetsboro has set two "Dine to Donate" dates, Feb. 5 and March 12. On those days, 15 percent of all sales will benefit Streetsboro Family Days and the Geraci family. Those interested in donating can pick up a flier at the restaurant about a week in advance of each event. For additional information, call the restaurant at 330-626-9516.
Applebee's Neighborhood Grille also will host a "Dine to Donate" event Feb. 18. Diners can donate 20 percent of their check to Streetsboro Family Days from 4-9 p.m. Diners should bring in a flier which should be available shortly before the event. Contact Kocisko at 216-905-8031 with any questions.
Streets Bar & Grill is hosting a poker tournament and raffle at an undetermined date in March, benefiting Streetsboro Family Days.
Kocisko vowed Streetsboro Family Days will go on this summer, in large part thanks to these efforts.
"Family Days will be there; Family Days is not going away," he said. "We will continue putting together the best program we can."
FB: The Gateway News/Bob Gaetjens