Eadies Fish House is looking for a way to clean money — not to be confused with laundering money.
In late October, the North Canton restaurant shared on its Facebook page that it would be taking down the dollar bills that customers had put up on its walls over the past 16 years as a way to give back to the Matlacha and Pine Island area in Florida that was hit by Hurricane Ian. The area inspired the island vibe at Eadies.
“We kind of have ties to that area where the hurricane hit. It’s sorta some of the reason why we have the aesthetics that we do," said Rudy Diotale, Eadies Fish House owner. "We spend a lot of time down there. That area on the islands got hit real bad. There was a lot of working people that live on the island that just lost everything, so … we just felt we had to help them."
But the restaurant's act of kindness wasn't so simple.
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As of Nov. 29, Eadies, 6616 Wise Ave., shared on Facebook that it had counted, straightened and correctly stacked all of the bills from the walls, but the bank wouldn’t accept all of them. The restaurant estimated the total value taken off the walls was about $5,000, but it's still tallying the exact amount.
“The problem with it is the artwork had gotten (in the way of) some of the serial numbers. It’s only like about 10% (of the total bills),” said Diotale.
Customers often put drawings, signatures and other well wishes on the bills before they were placed on the walls.
Diotale said PNC, the bank which Eadies uses, has been great about everything and he said it wasn’t the bank’s fault for not accepting the bills. He said the bank has certain criteria it needs to follow when accepting money, and the bills couldn’t be accepted without readable serial numbers.
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“They have some kind of machine, and they need to be able to read those serial numbers for it to be any good. So I’m not blaming them; we’re just trying to work through it,” Diotale said. “I’m trying to see if I can clean some of the money, where we can read at least the serial numbers and it becomes usable.”
They’re still working to clean the money in question, using some ideas shared by commenters on their Facebook post. But they’re not having much luck, and the bank didn’t share any options either. Diotale said they have a few more ideas to try, including a Magic Eraser.
A representative from the Avondale branch of PNC shared that the bank will accept money with writing on it.
“Depending on how degraded it is, we can still take it,” the representative said. “You don’t want the serial number to be covered, and you should still be able to make out at least like 60 to 70% of the bill. You still want it to be legible.”
Along with the bills collected off the walls, Eadies also hosted a fundraising event on Nov. 5, raising about $400. A GoFundMe page also was set up to raise more funds, reaching $130 as of Dec. 1. Diotale said the GoFundMe is still active for anyone who would like to donate, and donations are still being accepted at the restaurant.
Diotale hopes customers will continue the tradition of putting money up on the wall.
“We’re hoping people can do it again, and we’ll build it up and donate it again somehow,” Diotale said.
This article originally appeared on The Repository: Eadies Fish House needs help cleaning money for hurricane fundraiser