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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.

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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.

A Passion for Opportunity

A Passion for Opportunity

Kristofer Robinson Scholarship Fund at CFT provides educational opportunities for paraplegic and quadriplegic students in Texas


Established after a tragic automobile accident that left the late Kristofer Robinson paralyzed from the neck down, the Kristofer Robinson Scholarship Fund at CFT was created to support the education of paraplegic or quadriplegic individuals. One recent scholarship recipient of the Kristofer Robinson Scholarship Fund is Nathan McClintock.

A Passion for Education

A Passion for Education

Om & Shanti Funds at CFT provides scholarships and opportunities to students


For the Sethis, giving back is a family affair. Parvesh and Jeet Sethi have two charitable funds at CFT: the Om & Shanti Scholarship Fund and the Om & Shanti Fund, a donor-advised fund. Both their family fund and their scholarship fund are centered around providing educational opportunities for students.

A Passion for Community

A Passion for Community

Mary Anne Sammons Cree leaves legacy of giving through CFT's Live Oak Legacy Society


Mary Anne Sammons Cree had a passion for our North Texas community. She spent her life giving back in support of the causes that mattered most to her—the performing and visual arts, museums, education, and nature.

A Passion for the Arts

A Passion for the Arts

Cece Smith Lacy and Ford Lacy fund new works from arts organizations through their fund at CFT


As Cece Smith Lacy and Ford Lacy began their estate planning process, they came to Communities Foundation of Texas for assistance with their planned giving. During their research, they learned about donor-advised funds and decided to open the Cece Smith Lacy and John Ford Lacy Fund at CFT to support their giving during their lifetime.

A Passion for Giving

A Passion for Giving

CFT’s NTX Giving Day becomes an annual celebration for the Ngo family


Joylynn Huynh-Ngo’s children haven’t quite made it out of elementary school, but they know a thing or two about whipping up batches of boba tea, cookies, and lemonade, and sharing their creations with and for the community.

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.