Philip's Lasting Legacy ready for update

Since 1989, originally created for the South Dakota centennial, the memorial at the north end of Center Avenue in Philip displays the names of individuals and families who have contributed and are contributing to this area's legacy.

The Lasting Legacy was created through the initiative of the Philip Chamber of Commerce. According to the initial policy statement, the structure is a "memorial to the pioneers, past, present and future, who have contributed, are contributing and are likely to contribute to the quality of life in this area. This memorial was intended and erected as a tribute to the dedication, motivation and foresight of its people, and its legacy for the future."

The structure has grown to include an American flag, a Philip flag, lighting, concrete benches, and plaques displaying approximately 700 names of past and current area residents. Maintenance of the structure and its surrounding grounds is done by the local FFA. Flowers and watering is done by the Community Betterment Committee. Electricity and water are provided by the city of Philip.

Over the years, plaques of names of individuals and families have been added to the memorial. The last addition was in 2007, before the Philip centennial. The current committee overseeing the memorial consists of Marcia West, Kelly Penticoff, Jack Hansen, Doug Hauk, Jack Rush and Mike West.

The committee is working to add another plaque, containing 30 lines, before this year's Philip Festival Days.

"It's not just for those who homesteaded here," said Marcia West. "It's for families, for current business people, for current doctors and other residents." West said that a family name already displayed on the memorial could now include that family, as well as the families of the original household's grown children.

Individuals or families who would like to have their names included on the newest plaque should contact a committee member. Twenty-two letters make up a line of print. The cost of each line engraved on the plaque is $60. In order to have the plaque commissioned, completed and installed by Festival Days, the deadline for requests is before April 1.

The Lasting Legacy form can be found on page 5 of this week's issue.