Middleton child receives nothing from American Idol star's benefit - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Middleton child receives nothing from American Idol star's benefit

JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- A benefit performance in Janesville by American Idol finalist Phil Stacey was supposed to support the care of four year old Rylee Jo Williams, but Williams' parents said they received nothing from the show's promoter.

Johnathan Williams of Middleton said concert goers May 29 even dropped money into donation jars and bought special cloth bracelets with Rylee's name, but no money has been turned over.

"And the bracelets, we put them there for money for Rylee,"   Williams told 27 News.   "That he (promoter) wanted to keep it all, (it's) just a little stunning.   Just baffles me."

Promoter Tyler Rehm of TR Agency in Madison approached the Williams family about the idea of a benefit concert after a Fox-47 news report on Rylee Jo Williams' care at UW Children's Hospital for e-coli poisoning and complications.   Williams is on dialysis and her father said she may need a kidney transplant, with the uninsured portion of his daughter's care growing.

Rehm said Stacey's concert at Janesville's Pontiac Convention Center was a disappointing draw, despite online, print and radio advertising.   Stacey was in the hit show's season-six and mixes Christian, country and folk music.    The concert advertising included the benefit purpose.

Jonathan Williams told 27 News he's contacted authorities because he's received no receipt copies or other formal accounting of the show's proceeds from Rehm, and no money from the sale of the bracelets family members purchased to sell at the show.

"We don't know if his business is to exploit vulnerable families.   I hope it's not."

Rehm, 20, told 27 New he worked hard to promote Stacey's show, but he must recover his costs.

"He (Stacey) cut his (performance) price, but I did not make anything."

Rehm said the show's production and advertising costs were nearly $7,000, with ticket sales bringing in approximately $1,000.   Rehm said he feels no obligation to share any ticket proceeds with the Williams family, but will give them $100, even though donations the night of the concert were "really nothing,"  a claim Williams family members dispute.

Wisconsin Division of Trade and Consumer Protection administrator Janet Jenkins said the advertising of a benefit concert with no benefit pay out  "could be a problem" over rules on false advertising.  

A publicist with Tennessee-based Reunion Records said Stacey was unaware his performance yielded no money for Rylee Jo Williams, but otherwise had no comment.


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