A Powerful Lesson

Larry Pollock, right, and Stewart Kohl at the kickoff event for the Power of Every One campaign.

NASA flew its last space shuttle mission. Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S, the first model with a virtual assistant named Siri. The final Harry Potter film cast a spell to finish No. 1 at the box office.

The year was 2011, and the Power of Every One Centennial Campaign was just getting started. Back then, nobody could’ve predicted how different the world would be a decade later — or how the most ambitious philanthropic effort in the 100-year history of Cleveland Clinic would itself make history, exceeding all expectations.

By the time the Power of Every One campaign ended on December 31, 2021, we had raised nearly $2.6 billion, with 800,000 gifts from donors around the world.

Siri, what’s another word for “amazing?”

None of this would’ve happened without outstanding leadership, starting with our campaign Co-Chairs, Larry Pollock and Stewart Kohl. Duos don’t come any more dynamic. Playing off each other’s strengths — Larry with his marketing acumen, Stewart with his entrepreneurial spirit — they stayed the course for 10 years and inspired an unprecedented outpouring of support. Thank you, Larry and Stewart.

We stand on the shoulders of giants. When the Power of Every One was launched under then-Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, MD, and his team, the original goal was $2 billion. We crossed that threshold in 2019, one year after Tom Mihaljevic, MD, succeeded Dr. Cosgrove. Mission accomplished? Not so fast. With two years still left to go in the campaign, we set a new goal of $2.5 billion, which we ultimately also surpassed.

None of this would’ve happened without the exceptional contributions of our other volunteer leaders, including Campaign Distinguished Chair Norma Lerner, Campaign Emeritus Chair Bob Rich and the current Chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Board of Directors, Beth Mooney.

As Beth puts it so well in our Q&A with her in this issue: “Your community needs your gifts as much as your career does.” I couldn’t agree more. My thanks to Beth, Bob and Norma, as well as the rest of our board members. May your shining example inspire more volunteer leaders to step up and give of their time, talent and treasure.

Lastly, and most importantly, none of this would’ve happened without all of you. The name of the campaign has always said it all. Your generosity empowers our mission, and I’ve witnessed it again and again since my arrival at Cleveland Clinic five years ago. Every one of you has the power to help us care for life. Every one of you has the power to help us research for health. Every one of you has the power to help us educate those who serve.

And in the end, we’re left with a powerful lesson. The Power of Every One campaign proved that nothing is more powerful than coming together for a greater good. On behalf of all of us at Cleveland Clinic: Thank you.