The head of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce yesterday experienced first-hand the lure of the Lehigh River rapids.

Iannelli, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, was accompanied by friends and family members on a rafting trip.

The contingent entered the river from the county parking lot in Jim Thorpe with Pocono Whitewater Rafting of Jim Thorpe.

The rafting trip occurred as a result of the recent partnership of the Lehigh Valley Chamber with the Carbon County Chamber and Economic Development.

"Our recent partnership has opened opportunities for both communities," Iannelli said. "What we are trying to do is promote the hidden gems in Carbon County to the Lehigh Valley."

"We want the businesses of Carbon County to benefit from the exposure they will get from this new partnership," said Dawn Ferrante, Executive Director of the Carbon Chamber and Economic Development Corporation. "Tony is really leading the charge by experiencing first-hand the great activities we have here."

Iannelli said he will be discussing his adventure on his weekly radio show.

Paul Fogal, owner of Pocono Whitewater Rafting, said, "We feel the partnership will only help our County. Tony is highlighting the great things there are to do here and the Lehigh Valley is an important market to us that is growing."

Before boarding his raft, Iannelli spoke briefly to the news media.

"This is our chance to celebrate the partnership," he remarked. "We want to experience the great assets of Carbon County. We don't have rapids in Lehigh County."

He said he brought his entire family to enjoy the adventure, as well as his fiance Wendy Perry.

"When I get back (to Lehigh County), I will talk about this," he said.

In promoting the partnership of the two business-promoting groups, he said, "We have close to 6,000 people and this is a chance to do business together."