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My Community ...

The town and surrounding community of Philip, SD, has a rich 100 years of trials and glories. Today, residents and visitors can see that continuing history in the individuals, organizations and businesses of the area.

With fewer than a thousand residents, Philip has the positive attributes of communities 10 times its size. Volunteerism is not a thing or a bewilderment; it is a way of life. The state-acclaimed Philip Volunteer Fire Department exists even without a taxable fire district. The Community Betterment Committee, Haakon County Young Women, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Cub Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, five-church Ministerial Association, Chamber of Commerce, Philip Theater Group, and Roping Club are only a few of the beneficial organizations that have made the news and notice of the rest of the region and state over the last few years. Such a list is always in danger of accidentally leaving off deserving members.

When one of our own triumphs, we triumph. We do not tolerate free-loaders, but, when a local family fights unsurmountable odds, we offer a loving hand. Recently, the emotional and financial trials felt by a family with a teenager with a life-long, and eventually fatal, ailment brings out our community spirit and aid.

Notable businesses that affect a multi-county area include the 100-year old First National Bank in Philip, the 40-year-old world-market Scotchman Industries, the 50-year-old Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital and Philip Health Services, the Ravellette Publishing seven-newspaper-chain based in Philip, the 11-state Cattle Business Weekly, the area-renowned Lake Waggoner Golf Course, two large implement dealerships, car dealerships, and the necessary businesses found in all towns. The school is academically and athletically acclaimed. Two years ago we had six seniors (about one fourth of the class) who earned 4.0 career grades. We have local scholarships whose numbers and amounts boggle the mind, and the recipients use them to continue their education.

Yet, with the current trend of jobs being found out-of-state, the youth and younger adults are leaving. The core of what this community holds so dear is diminishing. Our leadership in business, community, and volunteerism is growing thin. Keeping people in the area has reached a critical stage - our "interest" is spent and we are dipping into our capital.

A revitalization, possibly through the Horizon training program and similar efforts, is becoming a live-or-die venture for our community. We have the volunteers, the need, and the desire to move forward. We stand ready to step up ... to step into our own future.