Action Forum latest phase in Philip's Horizons project; next Leadership Plenty

Kari Fruechte, Horizons Project Director and Dan Oedekoven, Horizons Community Coordinator, aided with directing the findings of the Study Circles' culmination. Since the project is to train leaders and help a community continue its own improvement, "You can keep on organizing study circles forever. You have the facilitators," said Oedekoven.

The latest three study circles combined their suggestions to arrive at what they thought were the top eight generalized ideas to help improve the economy of the Philip area.

•more day care

•resource sharing

•community beautification

•library/community center

•affordable housing

•parks and recreation

•community events

•business retention and expansion

Within the time table of the Horizons program, some of these ideas can be worked on between now and August 1. Other ideas will take more time, organization and resources. Committees are open to anyone who would like to help with a given project.

An example of discussed details was given by Michelle Butler reporting for one of the study circles. "We feel our action ideas to be very attainable. There is much room for growth with all of our ideas and we feel that they could keep growing and expanding as the needs arise.

"One idea would be a community resource center. This would be a good place for different activities and a source for all types of information. There are lots of people in our community with assets that are going unused or unnoticed. There are good teachers amongst us, whether they are a certified person or just someone with a trade such as accounting, carpentry, computers, caring for the sick/aged or for kids. The junior high and high school students could all teach a world of knowledge about computers and the technology of this day and age. The list could go on and on.

"A center where people of all ages could get some kind of education would be a huge asset to our community. This could be a type of adult education class where the teachers could be volunteers or, depending on what the class is, the students could pay a small fee which could pay the teacher a bit for their time. There are people around who would be glad to volunteer their time if they were approached with the idea that it would benefit someone else. The list of the types of classes are endless. We also feel that our resource center would be a good place to house the chamber office and for people of the community to have a central location to find out all there is to know about our great town.

We feel that our town could benefit greatly from a thrift store. It seems that everyone in our circle who was looking to get rid of their "old stuff" are hauling it to Rapid City or other places out of our community. What better way to help our own community than to have a nice place that is run effectively and efficiently, to take our things that we are not using anymore. A thrift store that is run that way would be a great asset to our town and possibly even bring in people from surrounding areas who would come here to drop off stuff instead of going elsewhere. The Boy Scouts worked very hard to get a food pantry started and right now it is not being utilized as well as it could be. If the food pantry was also placed in our community resource center where people would be more aware of it, maybe it would get utilized more."

According to Horizon materials, a community such as Philip can benefit from the free Leadership Plenty stage of the Horizons program through its funding for extensive leadership training, through creating networking with other communities and organizations and through a possible $10,000 grant.

Leadership Plenty must be completed by August 1. Area residents cannot wait until after the Philip Centennial Celebration. The first meeting out of the progressive nine is Thursday, April 12, at 6:00 p.m. at the Bad River Senior Center. Expenses such as mileage and baby sitting may be reimbursable. According to the packet distributed during the Action Forum, "While the skills introduced in Leadership Plenty will help you in every phase of your life -family, work and community - they are intended primarily to help you and your fellow citizens work better together for the common good. They are practical and applicable today and down the road."

For more information, contact Jim Kanable, Kent Olson, Diane Fitch, Britni Ross, Jennifer Henri or any study circle participant.