DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - The Decatur Celebration's producer is officially resigning, WAND TV has learned.
Lori Sturgill had been involved with the Celebration since 2009. Her resignation was made official in a Thursday announcement.
Sturgill was the target of some criticism this week, in a series of letters sent to the Celebration board. Those letters, co-signed by more than 30 Decatur Celebration chairmen, sponsors, volunteers, and organizers, expressed concern over the financial management of the event, and that they had "lost confidence in some of the current leadership."
"If a new direction wasn't sought, they would not be participating," said attorney Randy Baker, speaking on behalf of the group of chairmen. "To a great extent, that would have been devastating for a lot of Celebration work."
That group of people, many who have worked closely to make the event happen for years, said they were concerned about the viability of the event, even worried that it might not happen in 2019.
Those concerns were expressed in a Wednesday meeting with select chairmen and members of the current board.
"In any given year for the last decade, we've not known for a fact if we've had the wherewithal to do it another year," said Baker, who noted the last ten years, it's like they've been living "paycheck to paycheck."
"It's time to stop doing that."
That group, which has leaders of the event's operations, parade, and several fundraising events, has said they plan to support a successful Decatur Celebration, contingent upon leadership changes.
Baker calls Sturgill's resignation a "positive development."
In a statement, Sturgill said, "I have loved being a part of the Decatur Celebration for the past 20 years of my life, but it is time for me to pursue other passions. I wish nothing but the best for the organization."
There has not been any word yet in regards to who might be her successor.
Following a meeting Thursday night, the Decatur Celebration board of directors confirmed their knowledge of Sturgill's resignation, adding "We appreciate Lori's years of experience and wish her the best of luck."