Within a week after the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce put on a poorly attended country and rock music festival, the administrator of the business promotion organization unexpectedly quit, the chamber's president announced this week.
Administrator Michael Ryan's resignation was effective immediately. He was replaced by Ned Elliott, a long-time chamber board member, President Dewey Smith said. Ryan had planned the ambitious fund-raiser, held Aug. 13 and 14 on the Long Beach Naval Hospital grounds, to benefit the Long Beach Navy Relief Fund.
Smith said a financial report on the festival should be prepared by next week. "We lost some money, but I don't know how much," he said. The relief fund still will receive $10,000 as promised, he said. The fund offers financial assistance to Navy personnel stationed in nearby Long Beach.
The festival, which was highly advertised by local newspapers and radio stations, cost the chamber about $250,000. About $100,000 of that amount was raised through loans from unnamed board members. Veteran musicians Chuck Berry, Wilson Pickett and Johnny Rivers performed the first day. Charlie Pride, Eddie Rabbitt and Mickey Gilley took the stage the following day.