From the Desk – May 2003

By now I suppose everyone has caught up with the fact that WE HAVE MOVED! We are now (almost) completely settled in our new luxurious office complex at 111 Boundary Road, North Melbourne. And when I say luxurious it’s with tongue just slightly planted in cheek. But I do speak with history in mind.

Those of us who have been around since the inception of the Muscular Dystrophy Association will remember our tentative beginnings… sitting on an orange crate in the middle of an empty room trying to decide which task to tackle first. Members? Yes we need members. Fund raising? Right, we’re not going to get far without money, “the guy who sold me the orange crate wants to be paid and it would be nice to replace the candle with some real power.”

OK, I’m embellishing a little, but we did start small – our facilities were basic. But not for long. Needs enforce change. And there was a real need out there, one of those gaping holes everyone can see after its been filled. People need specific, detailed information, practical advice, support and a compassionate understanding that cannot, in reality, come from busy General Practitioners with overflowing waiting rooms. That’s where the Muscular Dystrophy Association comes in!

Boris M Struk

May 2003

From orange crate to Ascot Vale, to Moonee Ponds to North Melbourne, the MDA now has the kind of facilities we really need to support the MD community properly. There are wheelchair accessible rooms on the ground floor as well as space to spread in the seminar meeting room on the first floor, which is wheelchair accessible by lift! We are closer to town, hospitals and the Melbourne Neuromuscular Research Institute and still have beautiful public parkland for our Day Program participants to enjoy just a block away.

If you’d like to drop in for a visit and have a look for yourself, we’d love to see you.

I recently had the greatest pleasure in participating in the celebrations in Sydney for the Harley-Davidson motor cycle company’s 100th Anniversary – The Open Road Tour (ORT). Because we’ve given the event such prominence, it’s probably appropriate to explain the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s relationship with Harley-Davidson.

Quite apart from the fact that the Harley-Davidson people manufacture some of the most magnificent bikes in the world – and that’s not a free plug, the Harley company hardly needs my endorsement for their product – but they are also a very generous and community minded company. And that is very much my business.

For 18 years Harley-Davidson have supported the efforts of MDAs around the world . Because of their generosity, more than $60 million has been raised internationally to help find a cure for muscular dystrophy.

So, at this Muscular Dystrophy Association in Melbourne, Australia – just one of many similar groups around the world working for the same cause – we are currently raffling our 32nd Harley-Davidson bike!

Our relationship with the Harley-Davidson Inc. is something we are proud of and the event in Sydney provided us with yet another opportunity to do some fundraising as well as to get together with some of our oldest friends and best supporters.

As you read the story please remember how important the Harley-Davidson organisation and HOG – Harley Owners Group, have been to the MD cause.

Of course it goes without saying – so I’m saying it anyway – that while we have been busy with the establishment of our new home, you haven’t been forgotten. All the regular day-to-day issues affecting the MDA and the MD community continue to impact on our lives and on the lives of our loved ones. I sincerely hope no one has felt neglected and nothing has been overlooked but if it has, please let me know.

Until next time!

Boris M Struk