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Connecting a Bucket of Ice Water to the Greater Good
vice presidentSo, who got drenched this summer taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

Like lots of folks across the country, I got challenged to help raise awareness and support research in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Along with several colleagues from our office, I had a large container filled with ice water dumped on my head on a steamy August day. It was good fun for a great cause.

Thanks to social media and widespread coverage in traditional media, it was hard NOT to be aware that people from all walks of life were pouring ice water on their heads to support ALS research and those facing the disease. The phenomenon shows just how connected we are and the good that can come from those connections.

This issue’s feature story on brain research at Wake Forest Baptist highlights how interconnected processes create action. It’s true of physical connections among neurons in the brain and of collaborations among outstanding research scientists at our Medical Center.

Connecting individual effort to something greater helps us realize the full potential of an idea or a plan. One researcher working alone might come up with a novel idea, but it becomes a vital medical discovery when a team of researchers builds on that idea.

One donor making a single gift to fund an important initiative certainly helps advance patient care, education or medical research, but that gift also has a multiplier effect when it inspires many gifts from numerous donors and those gifts work in concert with one another.

Philanthropy, viewed in isolation, is an action—a gift. It reaches its full potential when it feeds into a greater process. One gift leads to progress on an idea and can produce other gifts, leading to discoveries, important advances in medical treatment and significantly improved lives.

Wake Forest Baptist is a truly great cause, and I believe that by working and giving together, we will all continue to create a positive impact for everyone we serve.


Norman Potter
Vice President of Development and Alumni Affairs
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center


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