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July 26, 2010

Campaign Diary Service to Others

Michael Kurtianyk

Sunday, July 18 – Service


It has been said that you can tell the commitment of a person to his/her community by the level of service he/she provides for the betterment of others. Groups like Rotary, Elks, boards, and commissions help define a person’s perspective on society.


I would add that it’s not just the level of commitment to these service organizations, but also the work done by the person within that group that helps define a person. Commitment to service shows that a person uses the gifts given for the betterment of others.


This is all to say that I hold the work of Rotary International in high regard. The active, hard-working members truly live up to the motto of “Service Above Self.” Their work, specifically with regards to polio, is a model for organizations around the world. Look at the evidence: from their web site, it is noted that the incidence of polio continues to decline as immunization drives intensify in countries where the poliovirus has been imported.


As of June, Nigeria reported only three polio cases, compared to 312 cases for the same period in 2009. India reported 21 polio cases, compared to 67 cases in 2009. Multi-country immunization campaigns continue in West Africa, where the outbreak that affected the entire region last year now appears confined to the westernmost part.


Rotary International has provided a total of $500,000 in emergency grants to UNICEF and the World Health Organization for polio immunization efforts throughout the country. The outbreak is a reminder that as long as polio exists anywhere in the world, all children are at risk.


There was an article published in The New England Journal of Medicine about two studies on polio eradication. In the first study, the Imperial College London, and others, examined the effects of the circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) in Nigeria. The study showed the importance of solid planning for the management of long-term polio virus risks, so that we get to a point where we no longer need to administer the oral polio vaccine.


The second study, by the Ministry of Health in Oman, and others, showed that parsing out doses of the polio vaccine at 2, 4 and 6 months, as compared with full doses, achieve similar results as full doses.


Rotary International has unveiled a new Strategic Plan to eradicate polio by 2013 but is facing a budget shortfall. Though there has been progress in many areas around the world, it is clear that the polio eradication effort should not fail when we’re so close because of a lack of funds. Only half of the U.S. $2.6 billion budget for the three years is funded.


Let’s hope leaders around the world help Rotary International with meeting the goal of polio eradication.


Winner of the 2010 British Open: Louis Oosthuizen by seven strokes.


Tuesday, July 20 – Rehearsal


As I was involved in an interview with an advocacy group for my candidacy for county commissioner, my daughters were at rehearsals for The Music Man. I wanted to mention that this production will benefit two Middletown Valley families.


Matt Kepler is a 2007 Middletown High School graduate who recently was seriously injured in a skateboarding accident. Matt was a two-time state champion in pole-vaulting with the MHS track team. After the accident, Matt's mother left her job to work with Matt every day. He is confined to a wheelchair at this time but we pray that he will someday walk again. Proceeds will go toward helping Matt's family with rehabilitation expenses and equipment.


Ethan Eavy is seven years old, lives in Myersville, loves music and attends Middletown Primary School's "Challenges" program for autistic children. His family has many needs and our goal is to provide educational (musical/computer materials) and recreational (swing, slide) equipment for Ethan.


We will invite Matt and Ethan to our late summer rehearsals and performances. On our website,, under "Get Involved" we have a sponsorship letter. If you know of local businesses that might like to support our production, please download a copy of the letter. It is only with the generosity and support of local businesses that we can cover our production expenses and continue reaching out to local families in need.


Super busy at the Urbana, Burkittsville and Thurmont carnivals all week.


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