Rayne Chamber to host 3 political forums

SUZETTE LEONARDS, right, was sworn as the newest director of the Rayne Chamber of Commerce by President Jimmy Prevost Wednesday, Sept.3, Leonards replaces Louis “Bedo” Meche, who resigned the position.

Directors of the Rayne Chamber of Commerce approved  hosting political forums for Rayne candidates during their meeting Wednesday, Sept. 3.
Due to the large number of candidates seeking office in various positions, the Forum will be held on three nights, Monday, Oct. 6, Tuesday, Oct. 7 and Wednesday, Oct. 8 in the Ballroom of the Rayne Civic Center.  The Forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. all three nights
The political forum committee is inviting all candidates to participate. All candidates must answer the invitation by September 26 ––no exceptions.  Candidates are to call or come to the Rayne Chamber office.  The office is open Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-12 noon and  1-4p.m.
Questions from the public are being accepted for all candidates in general, with the stipulation that questions submitted may be edited, and not all questions will be used due to time frame.
Deadline for submitting questions is Sept. 26 at 4 p.m. to the Rayne Chamber of Commerce office, by email, mail, and fax or outside mail box.  All questions should be placed in an envelope and marked “Political
Forum.” The Chamber’s address is 107 Oak St., Rayne, LA 70578, email: raynechamber1@bellsouth.net; and fax: 337-334-8341.
The forum’s moderator will be from out-of-town with no political ties to any of the candidates.
The Chamber will have concessions available.
In other business, Suzette Leonards was sworn in by President Jimmy Prevost to replace Louis “Bedo” Meche who submitted his resignation as a director.
Executive Director Fran Bihm announced that Poise Boutique will host a Business After Hours session on Thursday, Sept. 25, beginning at 6 p.m. following a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at the store on Branche Street.
Directors discussed the Nov. 15 Frog Festival and the 2015 festival next May.
Local nonprofit organizations are invited to set up sales booths at the one-day festival. Arts and crafts booths will also be available.
Prevost also announced a 2014 festival poster will be sold.
It was also announced that local nonprofits will be permitted to keep profits from beer sales during the 2015 festival.
Bihm reported the Chamber’s Grande Mardi Gras Ball will be a “fabulous production on Jan. 17, 2015. Proceeds from the ball will fund student scholarships, she added.
Due to the fact that Farmers State Bank will close its Rayne branch on Sept. 30, directors voted to transfer the Chamber’s Frog Festival bank account to IberiaBank. The Chamber also maintain accounts at Rayne State Bank and Bank of Commerce and Trust Co.
Bihm reported she has gotten inquiries about conducting a Christmas sales promotion.
Noting the Rayne Beautification Committee has scheduled a Christmas tour of homes for Nov. 28 and 29, Bihm suggested a sales event should be scheduled from then through Dec. 6.
The executive director also reported the Harlem Ambassadors have inquired about sponsoring a Chamber fundraising basketball game in February 2015. Bihm said she would investigate the terms and conditions  further and report back the directors.

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