For immediate release:
July 11, 2011
BROWNSVILLE, Pa. – The Greater Brownsville Area Chamber of Commerce has selected Brownsville native and businessman, Pat Ballon, as its 2011 Distinguished Citizen.
The award will be presented July 18 as part of the festivities of the "Meet Me at the River" Cruise, a first-time joint initiative of the Greater Brownsville Area and Fayette County chambers of commerce. Each chamber has selected an honoree, with Fayette naming Christopher Kennedy of Hopwood as its 2011 Volunteer of the Year.
"Pat has been a faithful community supporter," says Frank Ricco, president of Brownsville's chamber.
Ballon is a self-made businessman whose longstanding reputation for giving back to the community is what merited the Distinguished Citizen Award. He is a 35-year member of the Hiller Fire Co., where he served as chief for 12 years; member of the board of directors for Mon-Vale Health Resources Inc. and its executive board for non-acute care and the Fayette County Area Vocational Technical School; chairman of the Luzerne Township Sewage Authority; and executive board member for the Patsy Hillman Park Foundation and the Greater Brownsville Area Chamber of Commerce. He is the 2009 recipient of Mon-Vale Health Resources' Gibbons Award for Dimensions in Service for the Health, Social and Civic Well-Being of Area Residents.
"I have always learned from Day 1 that you help people," Ballon says. "Neighbors help neighbors. That's instilled in you … and you do whatever you can to help the community." He and his wife of 22 years, Susan, are known throughout the area for their lifelong commitment to community service.
Ballon graduated from Brownsville High School in 1970 and attended California State College, predecessor of California University of Pennsylvania. He started in the business world during high school by opening a television repair shop in his parent's basement. Four years after he graduated from high school, he bought Brownsville Hardware, building it through the years into the largest independent business of its type in Fayette County – a 19,000-square-foot Do It Best store being expanded by 6,800 square feet this year and a 29-employee workforce.
Tickets for the July 18 dinner cruise are available through both chambers: 724-785-4160, Brownsville; 724-437-4571, Fayette. The Gateway Clipper will leave Brownsville's downtown wharf at 6:30 p.m. for a 2.5-hour cruise down the Monongahela River. Tickets are $65 per person, including dinner and entertainment.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Cutline information, Pat and Susan Ballon. For additional information or an interview, contact the Greater Brownsville Area Chamber of Commerce, 724-785-3600.