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For 50 years of care in Philip … thank you, Dr. Mangulis

It definitely will not be a surprise, but it will be quite the party.

On Saturday, March 5, the town of Philip and other well-wishers from in-state and out-of-state will honor Dr. George J. Mangulis. His loyalty to his profession and his 50 years of loyalty to the Philip area will be noted by many, many people.

The doors of the fine arts building of the Philip High School officially open at 2:00 p.m. for cake and coffee and punch. But, the building will be a place of activity long before that. Estimates of the number of guests range up to overflowing the room, the stage and the commons area. Many, many lapel cards will be available that read “I was delivered by Dr. Mangulis.” The day’s itinerary is still growing and probably will be up into Saturday morning, according to Philip Health Services’ Kim Kanable, one of the many people pulling the activities together.

At 2:30, the master of ceremonies, South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Larry Gabriel, will lead an honoring, embarrassing, uplifting, and loving tribute to Dr. Mangulis. A proclamation from South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds will be read by Roger Porch. Philip Mayor John Hart will read a mayoral proclamation. LeeAnn Knutson will narrate a “this is your life” type of history of Dr. Mangulis’ influence on Philip, while the Philip Drama Club will illustrate parts of his life through short skits. A 10-minute picture video will further depict Dr. Mangulis’ life in the Philip area.

The entertainment list is ever-growing. The Haakon County Crooners, directed by Marlis Doud, will sing the Latvian National Anthem. Heather Finn will play the United States National Anthem on her alto saxophone, and Cassidy Smith will sing “God Bless the U.S.A.”

Dr. Mangulis will speak as well.

In whatever floor space that can be made, there will be displays filled with baby pictures of people Dr. Mangulis delivered. Some of these will include entire households and several generations. Copies of interesting papers will also be displayed; letters recruiting Dr. Mangulis to come to Philip; old bills on what a delivery cost back when; heartfelt notes of appreciation and love. These will all be given to the doctor as keepsakes.

Dr. Dzintars will be here. He is another Latvian doctor who came to South Dakota at about the same time as Dr. Mangulis. They worked together in Philip for around a year before Dzintars moved to Faith.

Other dignitaries will represent the South Dakota Medical Association, the South Dakota Academy of Family Practice Physicians, and many others – not the least being Board President Charlie Ekstrum, representing Philip Health Services. The Philip airport will be busy on Saturday.

Valet service will be offered for people who need it. The Haakon County Prairie Transportation mini-bus will be running as well. If asked for, other types of transportation will be made available.

The celebration is tentatively planned to conclude at 4:00 p.m., but a later time is far more likely. Afterward, at 6:00 p.m., Mangulis will be dining at The Steakhouse with family and friends. All who wish to join this informal time are asked to make reservations through Don Carley at The Steakhouse, 859-2774.