Chamber revamps nicely

Published 10:52 am Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Meet the Lunenburg County Chamber of Commerce, if you hadn’t already; and if you didn’t know it already, they are on a roll.

The chamber is raising its profile in the community and planning some eye-catching programs intended to bring the community together, thanks to its new president, Mel Payne.

He is using his background in producing concerts to strengthen the ties between the chamber and the community.

This weekend, we will see the results of the effort that has been the focus of Payne’s energy.

The Little Roy & Lizzy Show, a bluegrass, country and gospel group from Lincolnton, Ga. — along with its special guest the Appalachian Express, based out of the Chase City area — will perform a concert on Saturday at the Kenbridge Community Center.

There are other undertakings planned.

In the next school year, the chamber will promote a talent show that will involve all of the schools in the county.

No date has been set yet.

Payne has said he envisions “it will draw a big enough crowd that Central High School is the only place big enough to handle it.“

If successful, Payne said he envisions approaching other area school systems and possibly getting a competition between the systems.

And most recently, the chamber kicked off plans to put on a 150-person Christmas concert at Central High School that will feature representatives from all of the county’s churches.

“I think this would be one of the most exciting and fun things to happen in this county in a long time,” Payne said.

Just when the performance takes place will be decided later so that the chamber can make sure it isn’t competing with other local holiday events.

It also has not been decided whether there will be a charge at the concert or if it will be free with donations accepted, or what any proceeds would go toward.

The chamber has always been a force, but it has taken an uptick under Payne’s leadership. It helps that he has time.

Payne isn’t juggling the responsibilities of a full-time job with trying to manage projects for the chamber. To be honest, that’s seldom a recipe for success.

Of course, his ultimate goal is to substantially increase chamber membership and public participation.

We can’t help but believe that, with the efforts that have already begun, Payne will do just that. We commend what we have seen, and look forward to what is to come.