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Chamber of Commerce hosts speakers

Bielmaier has been with Golden West for 11 years in the customer service and accounting department, and a Wall School District teacher before that. "I deal with the happy and the unhappy," said Bielmaier.

She discussed the short term and long range plans of Golden West. It has purchased 10 more cable TV systems in South Dakota, from Custer to Parkston. The new and previous areas are headed toward "bundling". "Bundling is really the new way for the communications businesses," said Bielmaier. "Bundling - we call our system Smart Pak - is the ability to combine more than one service and save money with different combinations of cable, telephone and Internet."

This will be the ninth year that Golden West is offering a scholarship program to area high school seniors. The deadline for applications is April 16. In the last 10 years, Golden West has also donated $40,000 to Philip area organizations for economic development.

Bielmaier concluded, "I want to join in in tooting the horn in honor of all the young people who have stayed or come back to the Philip area."

Gayle Kocer related that the Badlands RC&D has 14 active projects right now in trying to promote areas in western South Dakota. She had organized familiarization tours for representatives to see what is available in different local areas. She especially noted the little-tapped market between Interstate 90 and Interstate 80 and the Cheyenne Watershed Project.

"There are areas in Haakon County that need marketing," she said. "The Badlands RC&D can be approached for ideas and assistance, especially when it comes to help in grant writing. What can we do to help? Probably anything and everything that any other organization isn't willing to do. How much help can we offer the Philip area? How much help do you want? We can be an awesome resource, but we needed to be called."

Jim Kanable briefed the Chamber on Leadership Plenty - the next phase of the Horizons project. The first meeting is at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 12. As many attendees as possible are needed, with a minimum of 25 volunteers attending all nine sessions.

"At least come to one of the first sessions to see what all the talk is about," said Kanable. (See accompanying story.)

Co-chair of the Chamber Board of Directors Mark Ford announced that there are only two more Chamber meetings before the Centennial Celebration. He offered Chamber trivia. The first Philip Chamber meeting was in 1913. In 1920, over $1,300 was collected from member businesses to help promote the area. "We encourage everyone to attend our meetings," said Ford. "We need to get more people to come; maybe create a buddy system where you bring along someone else. The main reason for a chamber of commerce is to promote area businesses."

Reporting for the Centennial Committee, Marcia West said, "Everything is a go, so everyone will be kept busy at the Centennial Celebration, even if they didn't graduate from Philip High School." The advertising posters will be updated in a few weeks; i.e. inflatable games for children have been added to the festivities.

Doug West reminded the Chamber of the "Centennial Kick-off Continued" on Saturday, April 21, starting at 5:21. Youth are invited to ride bicycles, tricycles, scooters and even walkers in the parade. Cards and clothespins can be put in the spokes. Games and free hot dogs, chips and drinks will follow. "This event is to highlight the community kids, but everyone is encouraged to show up in traditional, historical dress," said West. "In my opinion, this Centennial is commending everyone who came before us. It is to get everybody enthused and involved."

Glenn Parsons reported that the golf course will open for the season on Sunday, April 15. The clubhouse is still being worked on, but "I think that you are going to be impressed. Some ladies of the community have already done some interior decor."

The next scheduled Philip Chamber of Commerce meeting will be at 8:00 p.m., rather than 7:00 p.m., on Monday, May 14, at The Steakhouse.