Another Option for Parents

Posted: October 22, 2010 by thetrooth in Uncategorized
Nurse Ann
Bump up from Nurse Ann

I am a long-time acquaintance of Jake Tonsfeldt and ran into him at a function last night and when I mentioned the GAGE gym situation that I had been hearing about in the media and he explained some things to me that I am sure the public does not know. In the first place, the rent that Al Fong says is too high was based on what Jake had to borrow to pay off all Al’s outstanding bills and a bank note which he was ready to be foreclosed on in 2007. Jake agreed to put up large sums of his own money and to sign for a bank loan that would take care of Al’s problems. The rent rate was set to allow the payments to be made on the new bank loan and to pay Jake back over the 10 years of the lease he is now walking out of. Yea, the lease rate may have be higher than the market rate but the reason for this is this was Al’s agreement within the lease to pay these monies back. Jake is still hung out with these banks for the total amount they borrowed and now Al thinks just because the market rates dropped he doesn’t have to pay. Al has really skipped out on his obligations here and left Jake holding the bag. Jake Tonsfeldt owns several properties around town and leases one to a major hospital that I work for and they are very happy with him. To see him made out to be a mean, vindictive landlord makes my blood boil.

Jake said at best, he had a one week notice that there was a problem. He tried to talk to Al and Al refused to talk to him. Jake finally got a copy of a letter that went to his lender demanding that the lender force Jake to lower the rent to an amount that would make his loan to the bank outside the FDIC guidelines for a performing loan. And then he wanted Jake to release all the collateral on the agreements that saved him in 2007. The next thing Jake knew was that the equipment was being removed from the building. The parents that helped remove the equipment from the gyms last weekend do not know the whole story and that equipment was used under a security agreement with UCC1 filings and now belongs to the bank. That includes the specialized floors and everything. You folks should bring this back or it will just be pulled out of the new gym when it shows up there.

I attended your big meet last year with Jake and some friends and Jake was so proud to part of this program and we all saw how much the athletes enjoyed what they were doing. Jake is really upset about the grief this has caused the students and parents who really know nothing of the business dealings. He understands their loyalties to Al Fong but they need to know the other side of the story. Jake’s attorneys have advised him to let everything work out in the courts. But as we know the courts are so slow and I think the students and parents need to hear his side of the story now. He thought it would be wonderful for a parents group to be the operator of the gym and said he would gladly let them use the equipment. The rent for such a group would be lower than current rent because they would not be paying back Al’s debt. Parents is that possible?

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Comments
  1. Gym Rats Mom says:

    This doesn’t seem to be the appropriate forum for such an offer to be presented. It also strikes me as odd that it would be made by a third party. As a GAGE parent, I can say that this feels like another attempt to “stir the pot”.

    It is my opinion that Mr. Tonsfeldt should contact parents in a professional manner and through an appropriate representative if this is an option he wants to pursue.

    • Upset Mommy says:

      Very well put Nurse Ann! Coming from the banking industry myself its hard to tell people about UCC filings and what that means. Like I have said many times before parents do not understand that he may open a new gym but once the bank knows where that is, there are going to go take what is theres to help pay down the principal on the bank note.

    • anotherpissedoffparent says:

      In order to run Gage you need the staff and coaches. Al seems to have them convinced he’s in the right and everything going peachy as planned. I’m not buying a word of it. Too many holes in his story. We’d be signing with another gym today…….problem is my daughter loves her coach and team mates and won’t think through the whole picture. It’s probably too much for young kid to grasp the concept of “business is business”. They deserve an owner who not only wants to make a good living but who loves gymnastics instead of the obsessive compulsive pursuit of Olympic medals, fame and notoriety as Al and Armenia have demonstrated all along. Basically dumping the Silver Dragon team out with the garbage is just one more example of what their goals are. If gymnastics was their real passion the Cheer team would have been the ones dumped.

      • Gym Rats Mom says:

        Another Pissed Off Parent – If you feel that strongly about the situation, then how your daughter feels about her coach and team mates shouldn’t prevent you from making a change. As parents, sometimes we have to tell our kids no. Give her a choice – make the change or quit the sport and find a different one.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sounds like they’re not obsessed with the Olympics, then. He can’t train the dragons half-assed in a facility that doesn’t meet their needs. He’s setting up a building for the rec classes because it can meet their needs, but not the needs of the teams. He’ll get going with what he can and continue to work for progress on the teams building.

        Would you rather he trained them in a parking lot with no equipment, just to keep practices going?

  2. robert says:

    Has anyone thought about the kids. Cheer kids have a competition in 2 weeks, they are confused and worried they are going too look bad. They are proud of what they do and what they bring to cheerleading in kansas city and alls I see is blabla Al is a bad guy and Jake is a saint. So why am I hearing that jake froze the accounts that pay the coaches. So now they have bounced pay checks. That sounds like a great guy thinking about kids and people

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with Robert. If Jake had the community in mind he would let the coaches get paid. A lot of them of single parents and they’re victims in this, too.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think if Jake understood the loyalty of the employees, students, and parents, but I don’t think he does. The coaches are fighting for their jobs, and I can tell they love those jobs. They’re a very close knit group of friends. They stay late after classes to visit with each other when my teenager is in clinics. Some of them tease and play with my kids every night we’re there, even when they don’t necessarily coach them personally. The community inside GAGE is what kept me there once I had my kids try it out.
    Jake clearly knows nothing about what makes that business a family, or he wouldn’t have frozen their paychecks. That was just cruel. I see that as spiteful since it doesn’t punish Al at all, but the coaches who are helping in the hopes that they will get to continue working with their students once this all blows over.
    I’m rooting for them. My kids miss their coaches.

  4. Who's at fault says:

    If Jake did freeze the accounts it’s because he is keeping Al from draining the accounts. Do you really think that a guy who skipped out on as much as he did is gonna just leave money sitting around for paychecks?

    • robertd says:

      Well since Jake has control of the checking accounts and is the signer of the paychecks, guess what Al had nothing to do with that -Jake froze the accounts after signing all of the paychecks I say the DEPT OF LABOR will love to hear that employees are not getting paid by the majority owner. The truth will be out soon –

      • Who's at fault says:

        If Al has money for leases on new buildings and lawyer fees, why can’t he use those monies to pay his coaches?

      • Gym Rats Mom says:

        The same question could be asked about Jake. As 51% owner payment of wages to employees is as much his responsibility as Al’s.

  5. stanley says:

    but why freeze the accounts so the employees can’t get paid. i know of a couple of people that this is their only job and they have kids at home. how are they going to pay their bills if saint jake froze their paychecks?? i think its crazy that someone who is for the children can’t pay the coaches who have been working with the children and they can’t support their own children at home.
    it seems all i hear is that jake is for the kids he is doing this for the kids, i wanna through the bs flag up and say if hes for the kids then why can’t they get to practice?

    • Insideout says:

      OMG people!! If you really want to know the truth do ur homework! Google Al,stop by some of the businesses around there, check court or public records. Al has screwed almost everyone in one way or another.He does not see people or gymnasts he see $$ signs of how much you can make for him.
      Also they have both hurt many ,many precious children. You stay because you are stuck and to that I say good luck! Just stop all the blame it is what it is. Jake is a business partner who probable cares if he goes bankrupt. You would be forced to do the same.

  6. Concerned says:

    The accounts that Jake froze were not the accounts where the payroll had come from since 2007 and that he had control of. Those accounts had been drained of funds and the income of Gage that was needed to pay the bills was diverted away from them by Al and his staff. The accounts that he froze were the new accounts that were unlawfully set up at Metcalf Bank. Since these accounts were set up by Al as the sole signer Jake was unable to veiw them even though he was 51% owner of Gage. His only option at that point was to have the accounts frozen so the money would stay in place until the funds that may be in them could be properly used for Gage expenses.
    The pay checks were written by Gage staff when they fully knew that the funds were not available to pay them. Jakes accountant had pulled his signature stamp from the Gage office on October 13, so it is unclear how his signature is on checks that were written after that time.
    The simple answer to all this is that if Al and his staff had left everything as it was this problem would not exist.

  7. Who's at fault says:

    LUCY… someone has some splaning to do.

  8. FormerEmployee of GAGE and Xtreme Gymnastics L.S. says:

    I am a former employee of both GAGE as well as Xtreme gymnastics. I am sad to hear about everything happening. However, after working at both facilities I would highly reccomend Xtreme as an alternative to the parents who want to find a new facility for their children. I still am in communication with people who work at both facilities, and I know Xtreme is doing quite well under the direction of their new team coach, Alisha. I wish all the girls the best of luck, and hope they all find something that works for them!! Regardless of what you decide is best for you don’t let this drama ruin the sport for your girls!!

  9. GAGE to Eagles Mom says:

    Before everyone starts to think this is advertising just remember it is a parent suggestion. For my kid it is Eagles! Great place to be and very welcoming. Who knew you could have a smile and do gymnastics? I didn’t know what else existed outside of GAGE. We were forced to look around by the situation. My gymnast now says she doesn’t want to go back to GAGE she loves her new gym and EAGLES coaches.

  10. Curious says:

    Has BEST gymnastics (in Grain Valley) gone belly-up, too?

    • Anonymous says:

      Not sure. I think most of his gymnasts are at other gyms now. I believe he has a hearing the first of the year for sentencing.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wow, sounds like the other gyms are going to be busy with two programs shutting down. What a shame. I hope none of the girls leave the sport because of all of the turmoil. I was going to say I feel especially feel bad for the girls at Best and then I realized that I feel just as bad for the girls at GAGE.

  12. concerned says:

    garguidewomen,

    could you please provide a link to verify what is taking place at BEST gymnastics. USAG would appreciate the information if verified.

    • Anonymous says:

      USAG has already revoked Bill’s usag number and I believe he is not allowed to coach at a meet on the floor. Somehow it has been ok for him to continue to run and coach a team program for the last 3 years though?!?

  13. concerned says:

    David Paul Waage OR
    Brooklyn Walters IN
    Chris Wagoner TX
    Steve Waples TX
    Donald Watts KY
    Mike West WA
    Jonathan White CA
    Lyf Christian Wildenberg MN
    Joel Woodruff TX

    as you can see, bill is not on the list as of yet. it could be his case is pending the outcome of the hearing you are speaking of above. USAG can temporarily suspend a membership. it is not permanent as of yet or his name would be on the banned list.

    once USAG takes this action against a member, it does not prevent an owner/coach from owning or coaching or both in any gym. the ban prevents the member from stepping on the floor of a USAG sanctioned event.

    parents beware…

    • concerned says:

      The word is that Witthar plead guilty and is awaiting sentencing in Jan. Once the sentencing is done, he will more than likely be permanently ban from USAG. Up until now it has just been temporary until his trial. USAG has to have confirmation of his plea and sentencing before they can move forward.

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