James Cade was a creator. Best-known for Gatorade, he also invented the first shock-dissipating football helmet, a diet-changing method for treating autism, and many other things. On the side, he was a poet, writer, and art collector.
He was also a loyal Floridian. The professor of medicine at the University of Florida named his legendary sports drink after the Florida Gators, its first major users. When he turned to philanthropy, Florida was also his center of attention. He and his wife, Mary, helped found the Community Foundation of North Central Florida, and funded the Fisher House in Gainesville for the families of wounded veterans.
When Cade became concerned about America’s declining performance in science and math, he decided to give the Gainesville area an organization that would help redraw the link between technical skills and creative abundance. In 2004, three years before his death, he and his family created the Cade Museum Foundation with an endowment to cover most operating costs of a museum dedicated to promoting creativity. Exhibits were planned. A temporary facility was created for school visits and other purposes. Fundraising is now under way for costs of a dramatic $9 million building to be erected in Gainesville’s central park.
- Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention, cademuseum.org