Published: Sunday, September 2, 2007
Since beginning, Buhl Day has blossomed
A second stage is being set up this year for more
By LAURE CIOFFI
HERMITAGE, Pa. For many folks in the Shenango Valley, the first Monday of September isn't Labor Day.
It's Buhl Day.
At least that's been its name for the last 28 years.
Sue McLaughlin of Hermitage has been there for every one of them. Growing up near Buhl Park and using its many amenities, it was only natural the now-retired school guidance counselor would be involved in the planning of a community picnic.
Open to all residents of the Shenango Valley, the present Buhl Day is based on one held in the earlier part of this century by industrialist Frank Buhl for his employees. His picnic symbolized the end of summer and recognition of the employees hard work.
McLaughlin remembers when the current Buhl Day started in 1980 years ago it was a day with a little bit of entertainment and some food vendors. Now it's filled with daylong entertainment and numerous food vendors which attracts thousands of visitors.
The events surrounding Buhl Day have even branched out through the weekend with a tennis tournament, fishing derby and golf tournament held the days leading up to Buhl Day.
McLaughlin said this year they have expanded the entertainment to two stages because they had so much interest from performers.
A second stage will be set up in the parking lot of the Casino and will feature high school-age groups.
The 40-member committee, chaired by Terry Whalen this year, puts on the free event on a budget of less than $30,000 per year, McLaughlin said. Money is generated mostly from donations and fees paid by the nonprofit groups who set up food stands for Buhl Day.
"Nobody stands to get any personal gain from Buhl Day. It's all nonprofit," she said. In fact, part of Frank Buhl's legacy for the park is that nothing is permitted to be sold in it, she said.
Any money left over after the committee pays the Buhl Day bills is given to the park, and in the past has been used to buy new playground equipment and other things, she said.
The day also is about honoring people who have done community service.
This year Dr. Wayne Greenburg and Diane Dach, a phlebotomist at Sharon Regional Health System's hospital, will be honored. Dr. Greenburg is known in the community for his involvement coaching and donating time to local sport's teams as well as working as a local physician.
Dach is a longtime volunteer with both the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.