OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) — Starling Lambert, the president of Friday after 5, says the event never truly recovered from the lack of sponsorships, volunteers and foot traffic, following the pandemic.
“Everything we have, we have to pay more for. It came to the point.. we have to do what we have to do to continue on,” said Lambert.
Several increases in cost of things like production and insurance, ultimately led to officials having to make a hard decision.
“It was a heartbreaking, but much needed opportunity for both of us. Parting ways with ‘Friday after 5’ will give them an opportunity to utilize the money that they would have tried to spend on an executive director on the bands, and the community and that was more important to me,” said Francine Marseille, the future former executive director.
Marseille confirms that she will no longer work in the role after Nov. 9.
The non-profit’s president says he and the other board members will share her responsibilities moving forward.
Lambert says, even after the help of a 2 percent increase in the city’s annual budget, the future of the event depended on budget cuts , and they started with fixed costs.
“The money all goes in one pot. You pay the band, we have or insurance, you gotta pay at the beginning of the year .. advertising,” said Lambert.
“.. That second year we got a little bit better, and then last year we got a little bit better. We got into the black, which im so proud of,” said Marseille.
Marseille ays she’s excited to now focus her time on hosting local events in Owensboro through her event management company, Marseille & Company Management.
She shares plans to still help with Friday after 5’s December event, Christmas at the Inn.
The non-profit says they appreciate Marseille’s hardwork over the years, and she will be missed.
“It’s heartfelt and passionate..for the last 3 years, and I want to thank the city of Owensboro,” said Marseille.