Skip to main content

Norman Brinker Scholarship at CFT

Norman Brinker Scholarship at CFT

Legendary restaurateur’s legacy of excellence continues to inspire

Norman Brinker’s integrity, entrepreneurship and competitive spirit made him a legend, but it was his generosity and the desire to help raise the skill of others that made him beloved by his family, peers, employees, and the countless lives he touched.

The quintessential entrepreneur and founder of Brinker International, Norman Brinker created, acquired and grew many of today’s most beloved restaurant chains. His impact on the culinary world can be felt by everyone from customers to the thousands of people he inspired to believe in themselves, their ideas and the highest standards possible—principles he practiced throughout his life.

While Norman founded and funded numerous nonprofits during his lifetime, he had a special relationship with CFT. For more than 30 years, CFT had the privilege, honor and pleasure to work with him. He served on CFT’s Advisory Council and supported many charitable organizations including The Chiapas Project, SMU, Dallas Museum of Art, and The Salvation Army.

Brenda-Brinker-Bottum-and-Cindy-Brinker-Simmons_CMYK.jpg

After Norman’s death, his daughters Brenda Brinker Bottum and Cindy Brinker Simmons have continued to work with CFT to further the charitable work their father started and continued with CFT through his estate plans. In order to connect their father’s career with his desire to give back, Cindy and Brenda established the Norman E. Brinker Family Scholarship that will support students pursuing a degree at the University of Houston’s renowned Conrad Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.

“Oh, what one person can do to create a better world," Cindy Brinker Simmons says. "Passing on a legacy of giving to the next generation is such a blessing!” 

While both Brenda and Cindy are active philanthropists on their own, they turned to CFT to help establish and manage this scholarship, ensuring that their father’s legacy of excellence continues to influence the next generation of restaurateurs.

Inclusion Matters

Inclusion Matters

CFT launches #IAMPEARL FUND in honor of Pearl C. Anderson


CFT’s first six-figure gift came from an African American woman named Pearl C. Anderson. Pearl grew up in rural Louisiana during the days of racial segregation and was prohibited from going to school until the age of 12, when a school for Black children was finally built a few miles from her home.

Legacy Matters

Legacy Matters

Lange family supports their passions long after their lifetime through CFT


One of the things that matters most to us in building a thriving community is growing community giving over the long term. CFT’s Live Oak Society was established in 2018 to recognize individuals and families who have created a legacy with CFT through a planned gift in their will or estate to their donor-advised fund or to support CFT’s discretionary grantmaking. To date, more than 70 individuals and couples have joined CFT’s Live Oak Society.

Love Matters

Love Matters

Allyson Bohannon Goldman Memorial Fund at CFT honors a heart for service


In 2020, Jody Goldman and Steve and Sharon Bohannon established the Allyson Bohannon Goldman Memorial Fund at CFT. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Allyson Bohannon Goldman passed away unexpectedly at age 30 from a postpartum blood clot seven weeks after giving birth to her daughter, Caroline. “In her 30 years, she left an indelible mark on those who knew her. In addition to being a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend, she lived a life of service to others,” said Sharon Bohannon, Allyson’s mother.

Education Matters

Education Matters

CFT's Educate Texas reimagines learning environments


In the United States, 65% of future jobs will require higher education, but only 39% of Texans have earned a college degree or workforce credential. To help prepare students for college and career pathways, Educate Texas’ Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs bring together state agencies and school districts to strengthen instruction and academics in K-12 schools and build relationships with industry experts.

Generosity Matters

Generosity Matters

Bhatia Family Foundation supports CFT's NTX Giving Day in a big way


CFT’s North Texas Giving Day–the largest community-uniting, generosity-raising giving event in the nation – is a time for celebration, joy, and GIVING! Each September, thousands of nonprofits (this year, more than 3,300!) are supported by the givers in the North Texas region–and friends from around the world–who prioritize lifting the life-changing work done by incredible North Texas organizations every single day. This year, NTX Giving Day marked its 13th annual celebration and broke another record, raising $66 million by way of more than 100,000 donors!

Partnership Matters

Partnership Matters

CFT's philanthropic consulting connects donors to nonprofits


One of the services that CFT provides to individuals, families, and businesses is philanthropic consulting. We recently helped connect a family, who prefers to keep their generosity anonymous, to nonprofits working in the cause areas that matter most to them: literacy and economic mobility.