Simon immersed herself in culture of the valleyBy Tom Fontaine
Herald Staff Writer
After 18 years in the much slower-paced Shenango Valley, however, Mrs. Simon knows her days of migration and fast-paced city living are over. She doesn't want them anymore.
"I love this area too much to leave it," she said. "I will not move again."
The pace, she said, is what she loves the most.
Mrs. Simon's hectic daily pace, however, is far different from the valley's. She said she is always doing something.
"The more busy you are, the more organized you have to be," Mrs. Simon said. "If you think something is worthwhile you'll make time for it."
Mrs. Simon has found time for many worthwhile things since moving to the valley, including her family, community volunteer work, her business, her neighborhood and golf three mornings a week during the summer.
"Having moved five times in seven years, I found being active in the community was a wonderful way to become acquainted with the area and its residents," Mrs. Simon said. Shortly after moving to the area Mrs. Simon became more than acquainted with both through her community involvement.
Four years after moving to the valley, Mrs. Simon was chairman of the Buhl Day Committee — and has been treasurer for nine years.
"Buhl Day is very dear to my heart," said Mrs. Simon.
The first Buhl Day was in 1915, when Buhl Farm park opened, in honor of industrialist Frank Buhl, and continued until World War II. Buhl Day was revived in 1980, a year before Mrs. Simon moved to the valley.
Mrs. Simon, who also served twice as co-chairman of the committee, said the event and committee has grown steadily since its revival.
In the early '80s the committee had fewer than 10 members, she said. It now numbers between 50 and 60.
Mrs. Simon has also been active on the Shenango Valley Performing Arts Council, formerly known as the Mayor's Committee on the Arts.
"The council helps promote arts in the valley. It is extremely important to expose children to the arts at an early age and to promote family entertainment," Mrs. Simon said.
Mrs. Simon was one of the early members of the council, and she has helped bring the Pittsburgh Artist Series to Buhl park and the Bicentennial Park Concert Series to downtown Sharon.
"These series entertain not only families but audiences of all ages, especially senior citizens," Mrs. Simon said.
The council has also arranged cultural trips to local theaters, she said.
Mrs. Simon also has been active in Hadassah and on the Council of Jewish Women, holding offices in both organizations, and is a member of the Temple Beth Israel Sisterhood, of Sharon.
"When you're in a new place you have to extend yourself into the community," she said. "You can't wait for people to come knocking on your door."
In Mrs. Simon's quiet Hermitage neighborhood she lost little time extending herself — and perhaps made that neighborhood a little less quiet during the holidays.
Every year Mrs. Simon hosts a women's holiday party at her home and, not surprisingly, its popularity has also grown over the years.
"We have a great time," Mrs. Simon said of the holiday festivities. "This is a great neighborhood. There really is a feeling of cohesiveness which appeals to me."
Aside from her community work and holiday planning, Mrs. Simon said she is "still anactive co-owner of a marketing and advertising business called Gifts Unlimited."
Mr. and Mrs. Nate Simon, who married in October 1981, have a blended family of six: Joe, Karen, Kathy, Kevin, Linda and Terry.
Of receiving the Buhl Day honor, Mrs. Simon said she is "shocked, really flattered and honored" to be included among the group of past winners.