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As others see it: An example of teamwork

We recently heard an interesting tale of working together in the name of regional pride and community betterment.

In Saturday's Daily Republic was a report about a group called Discover Bon Homme, comprised of representatives from the communities of Tabor, Tyndall, Springfield, Scotland and Avon. Aided by some guidance from the office of Southeast South Dakota Tourism, the group is pooling time, resources and ideas to promote Bon Homme County as a place to visit, or possibly live.

This is a good plan.

Too often, old rivalries die hard. Towns that entertained fierce loyalties over the years -- fostered by sports rivalries and such -- sometimes have trouble forging ahead in partnerships with old enemies.

But times change. Hatchets should be buried. Why? Because as populations dwindle, communities need to understand that joining forces sometimes can be beneficial. If nothing else, cooperative sports agreements have shown us the benefits of healing old wounds.

Three or four decades ago, it probably would have been unbelievable that towns like, for instance, Kimball and White Lake now share sports teams.

Likewise, the idea of consolidating school districts would have been outlandish for many residents in the 1960s or '70s. Yet here we are today, with former rivals like Bridgewater and Emery sharing educational services. The same is happening in towns like Platte and Geddes, Artesian, Letcher and Forestburg and others.

In Bon Homme County, Discover Bon Homme started a year ago. Now, the group has a website and has done some small-scale advertising. ...

Discover Bon Homme is setting an example that others should follow, or at least consider.