Missing money will mean changes for Boomtown Days - KOAM TV 7

Missing money will mean changes for Boomtown Days

Updated January 5, 2011 at 4:50 PM CST by LISA OLLIGES:  The chairwoman of Boomtown Days talks about the festival after it was revealed that money is missing.

Ginger Lamar has been involved with Boomtown Days for nine of the 10 years the event has been held and she says it is not stopping now.

She will not go into specifics about the missing money, but Lamar says things will change with the organization once the investigation by the FBI is complete.

When it comes to the festival. Lamar says she has heard from a number of sponsors who say they are still in support of the festival.

She says the various committee chairs, from food vendors, to crafts and kids games are all ready to come together to make the 10th anniversary Boomtown Days a great event.

The Boomtown Days organization is a 501c3 non-profit organization but has failed to file documents with the IRS since 2007.

Lamar could not discuss why that was neglected but says the board plans to strengthen procedures so there are no questions in the future.

"Hard times happen to great people and we fell into one of those hard times right now," says Lamar.  "Will we get past this?  Yes.  Will we learn from it?  Yes.  And will we be stronger?  Yes we will."

Kim Lester served as the finance chairman for Boomtown Days and has resigned from her post at the Chamber of Commerce.

We have learned that Lester attended every Boomtown Days planning meetings last year, except the December meeting, when the missing money was revealed.

We have also learned that while she did not resign from the Boomtown committee she is no longer on that board.

Posted January 4, 2011 at 5:53 PM CST by JORDAN AUBEY:  Federal officials could soon investigate an annual Joplin festival after money comes up missing.

Committee members for Boomtown Days say they have learned money is missing from the festival's fund, but will not say how much money is missing.

The Joplin Police Department has asked the FBI to investigate to avoid a conflict of interest because several city workers volunteer for the Boomtown Days committee.

One committee member says the festival has never had an audit in its 10 year history.

Last week, the finance director for Boomtown Days, Kim Lester, resigned from a position she held with Joplin's Chamber of Commerce.

The city's chamber of commerce says its organization is separate from Boomtown Days, however, Boomtown Days is listed as a non-for-profit using Kim Lester's name and the city's chamber of commerce address.

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