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Legacy Matters

Lange family supports their passions long after their lifetime through CFT


W.W. Caruth, Jr. and Dr. Fred M. Lange

North Star Values: Legacy, Innovation, Compassion

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.

We’ve had many generous fund holders give to CFT through their estate plans long before we created the Live Oak Society, including the late Dr. Fred M. Lange and Blanche Swanzy Lange. Fred was one of the founders of the Dallas Community Chest Trust Fund in 1953, which was CFT’s original name. Fred served as the first executive director, and later served as chair of the board of CFT. Prior to joining the Trust Fund, he served as vice president of the Southwestern Medical Foundation and as a trustee of the Caruth Foundation. When he was in his 80s, he was credited for raising more than $500 million throughout the region during his lifetime.

Blanche and Fred traveled the world in the interest of finding ways to improve the medical conditions of children. During their lives, to help newborns needing intensive care and observation in Dallas, the couple made a gift from the Lange Fund of the Dallas Community Chest Trust Fund to Baylor University Medical Center, to establish the Blanche Swanzy Lange Special Care Newborn Nursery, which opened in 1975. It has since expanded into the Blanche Swanzy Lange Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Through their estate plans, the Langes set up an endowment fund at CFT with three separate beneficiaries to ensure ongoing support of organizations they loved: The NICU at Baylor that bears Blanche’s name, Carter BloodCare, and Dallas Baptist University, where Lange Hall is named after Fred. These organizations can request grants from the Lange Fund annually, and CFT does the due diligence to vet the requests. For years, their fund has been able to support state-of-the-art equipment and technology needs the Langes never could have anticipated during their lifetimes. Their dollars have helped support high-tech life-saving equipment for the Baylor NICU and for Carter BloodCare. CFT is honored to steward the legacy of the Langes long beyond their lifetimes in support of what mattered most to them during their lives.

This story was originally featured in our 2021 annual report. For additional details and content, click here.

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