Each week staff members at The Sheridan Press type up brief articles on upcoming events — choir concerts, art exhibitions, fundraisers and more. The events for which multiple organizations work together always stand out the most.
The power of collaboration shouldn’t be underestimated. Henry Ford is often credited for saying, “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
We see efforts for collaboration across the community every day. Multiple agencies have decided to tackle the issue of continuing commercial air service to the area. Governmental and private organizations have also teamed up to explore options for additional workforce housing. Individuals support local efforts by volunteering and funding projects like Antelope Butte Mountain Recreation Area, Sheridan Community Land Trust, Center for a Vital Community and the missions of dozens of nonprofit organizations.
While a sense of divisiveness permeates many conversations about big, moral, national issues, our community rallies around undertakings focused on bettering our home. Neighbors help neighbors with things as small as clearing snow from sidewalks to as big as food for upcoming meals. It’s this small-town feel that draws so many new residents and visitors to the region.
While many within our community may disagree on issues ranging from gun laws, abortion, fluoride and economic development to school curriculum standards, campaign finance and immigration — when you talk one-on-one with neighbors, it’s easy to see that common ground can be found in our shared desire to do what is best for our community, our neighbors, our children and, yes, ourselves.
When our reporters type notices for upcoming events, it’s reassuring and inspiring that businesses and nonprofits are partnering for events like Dining for a Cause (set for Feb. 11), Pizza for a Purpose (which happened Wednesday), FAB Women’s Conference (planned for April 12), WYO Winter Rodeo (will take over downtown Feb. 23) and more.
Collaboration isn’t easy; planning one event — like those mentioned above — with multiple agencies can be difficult enough. Sustained collaboration like that required for issues like workforce housing or economic development, often fades over time without a champion or daily attention.
As Sheridan grows and difficult decisions must be made, I hope the mindset of collaboration, progress and success as outlined by Ford will permeate conversations and planning efforts both among the community’s leaders and among residents.
Without that mindset, we may fail to maintain aspects of the community we cherish so much and struggle to meet the needs of the future.