A good neighbor is often a person readily described as also being a good friend - the kind of person to be counted on no matter the serious or light-hearted nature of the next thing life throws your way.
They can always be counted on to make an impossible situation turn quickly into an easily solved and manageable - even an every day - sort of thing; and they do it with ease and a reassuring smile to share.
Shadyside resident and business woman Pat Heller is such a person.
Pat Heller, seated, has been nominated by her friend Barb Feher, standing, for this month’s Hey! That’s My Neighbor. Heller is heavily involved in supporting and promoting all things Shadyside, including serving as Chamber of Commerce President, using her family
business, the Shadyside Flower Shop, as Chamber headquarters and assisted in the
planning of several community-based
celebrations in honor of Shadyside’s centennial.
Members of the Shadyside Chamber of Commerce, from left, board member Helen Ann Bundorf, President Pat Heller and Heller’s sister-in-law, Georgia Rose Heller are all dressed in costume for Shadyside’s centennial activities.
While working on a project, Barb Feher discovered that 2012 was Shadyside’s 100th birthday anniversary. She shared the information with Heller, who was instrumental in building many community celebrations for the centennial event.
Heller and Shadyside Chamber board treasurer
Marsha Soos take a break from centennial preparation.
She has been selected as the December honoree for the "Hey, that's my neighbor" highlight by The Times Leader. Nominating Pat for the highlight was her longtime friend, Barb Feher.
When told of her selection, Pat was clearly flattered, surprised and humbled.
True to her character, it took no time at all for Heller to get the focus of the "Neighbor" highlight shifted from her to the Village of Shadyside, its residents, businesses and its vibrant 100 year history - not to mention the successes she is looking forward to for all things Shadyside.
Spend five minutes in Pat's company and you will feel as welcome among her always growing circle of friends as if you had been a part of it for years.
Pat has long been heavily involved in supporting and promoting all aspects of life in Shadyside.
She knows no strangers, and has a ready smile to share with all who step through the door of the Shadyside Flower Shop, no matter how hectic the day or how heavy the personal burden being carried by a friend who stops to share a cup of coffee.
The business is family founded, owned and operated and has been part of everyday life for the busy family for three generations. Begun by the family of her husband Ralph Heller, it was operated by Pat and Ralph, and its operation now includes the participation of daughter Bobbi Jo Kinemond.
The family business has always been a place where beautiful plants and strong passions about the community, family and friends are nurtured and shared.
Over the course of the last decade, eight years of which Pat has been president of the Shadyside Chamber of Commerce, the local flower shop has taken on a second role, figuratively speaking, as the honorary headquarters for the Shadyside Chamber.
There is nothing Pat does that is not infused with a sense of passion and of pure celebration of everyday life.
According to Barb Feher, it is that sense of passion that Pat shares with everyone on a day-in and day-out basis that makes others enjoy being around her and moves them to help support the projects and plans she brings to life, usually for the benefit of someone else or another local business interest in the village.
As this article makes its way to the newspaper page, the final days of the year are moving past, making these the last few days of the year of celebration held during 2012 in honor of the 100th birthday anniversary of the official founding of the Village of Shadyside.
It was Barb who had come across the information about the village reaching its 100th anniversary of its founding while working on a project on the computer. She shared that information with Heller and the seed was planted that would yield a healthy harvest of community-based public celebrations marking the milestone.
The Heller family members are the lifeblood of this successful business, which is today largely led by their daughter, Bobbi Jo Kinemond.
According to Feher, Heller's dedication to promoting the vitality of the community of Shadyside - in the past and in its future - and her unwavering belief in all it has to offer through the high quality of its businesses and residents, makes her a good neighbor to all.