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Location: Birmingham, MI, United States

Councilman John Akouri, former Washington, DC Press Secretary & Capitol Hill Advisor, is President & CEO of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Governor Gets Warm Reception at Lebanese Fest

By RUSS FLANAGAN/The Express-Times
(EASTON, PA)...As a gubernatorial candidate in 2002, Gov. Ed Rendell courted the Lebanese-American vote on his way to Harrisburg. On Sunday, he stopped by the 28th annual Heritage Festival at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church to say thanks.
"I wanted to come back in a non-campaign capacity to say hello," said Rendell, who was invited to the festival by the Koury family.
Rendell arrived in a Cadillac about 7 p.m. and drew cheers from the crowd of people that had gathered on the sidewalk. Dressed casually in a golf shirt, khakis and sneakers, Rendell walked around the crowded festival shaking hands, signing autographs and helping to turn chicken on a grill.
"I've been to many, many ethnic festivals but the Lebanese-Americans have the most fun, and without question, the best food."
The governor later made his way to the stage and endeared himself to the local Lebanese community.
"I've been back to Easton several times since I was elected governor, usually with checks in hand," he told the crowd. "I've been to many ethnic festivals but the Lebanese-Americans have the most fun, and without question, the best food."
Rendell then watched a traditional dance and, in accordance with custom, showered one of the child dancers with cash. Rendell's appearance Sunday marked the first time a sitting governor has attended the Heritage Festival, said Tony Koury, deacon of the church.
"It says something about him and all of Pennsylvania, and it says something in particular to the Lebanese people," Koury said.

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