Skip to main content

Sharing Values & Planning Your Legacy

Sharing Values & Planning Your Legacy

A conversation with Ray and Linda Pekowski

Q: The two of you are noted Texas entrepreneurs and your business mission has been to help people perform at a higher level. How has that driven plans for ensuring your charitable legacy?

A: We’ve been very blessed as a company and as a family and wanted to pass on those blessings. At our annual family meeting, we sat down with the kids and our business consultant to plan the next steps for our business and to hear our children’s expectations for the future. We decided to keep our company in the family rather than selling it, and needed to update our estate plan.
Out of that planning, we elected to leave 50 percent of our assets to charity. We spoke with Eric, our estate planner, and told him we were thinking about setting up a foundation to manage our charitable giving. Eric listened and advised, and we learned that running a foundation is similar to running a business. As an alternative, Eric brought up partnering with Communities Foundation of Texas to establish a donor-advised fund, which works similarly but without the administrative burden of a private foundation. Establishing the Pekowski Charitable Fund at CFT gave us an easy and effective way to give now and through our estate.

Q: What did you find most beneficial in working with CFT on your charitable legacy and giving? How are you including your children and grandchildren in your legacy?

A: CFT guided us every step of the way. They recommended we participate in their GiveWisely course and attend a nonprofit site visit with their staff. We brought our children to that and it was very helpful in choosing the charities we wanted to donate to as a family. At our most recent family meeting, our children presented what they learned in GiveWisely, and we talked about the gifts we’ve made in the past year. We also brought the values card activity we did with CFT staff to our family meeting and talked about what values matter most to each of us. We’ve been holding family meetings since 1999, and in the past few years have begun to include the grandchildren. The youngest is 6 and the oldest is 15, and they’re having fun helping to select the nonprofits we support. We talk and pray about stewardship and share with them stories about our lives and about giving. We continue to stress the importance of our family legacy, and we feel confident that they want to continue that legacy of giving.
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.

Opportunity Matters

Opportunity Matters

Denbury Scholarship Fund at CFT provides educational opportunities for employees and their families.


Chris and Eileen Kendall have recently established two charitable funds at CFT: The Denbury Scholarship Fund and The Kendall Family Charitable Fund, a donor-advised fund.

Leadership Matters

Leadership Matters

Jain Foundation Fund at CFT supports causes locally and globally


Anurag and Gunjan Jain are leaders in many community initiatives, one of the most recent being Get Shift Done. One of their shared passions is taking care of people who are hungry, and they’ve been supporting the North Texas Food Bank in a variety of ways for more than a decade. Anurag is a former board chair, and Gunjan has served on capital campaign committees and helped create a “Kids Against Hunger” campaign. Currently, Gunjan serves on CFT’s board of trustees and has been involved with the Global Fund for Children for many years, both locally and globally.

Equity Matters

Equity Matters

Two nonprofits lead the way with new programs to advance equity


Advancing community equity is key to building thriving communities for all. Two equity focused organizations and their new programs we’ve recently invested in are creating big impact for community members of color.

Collaboration Matters

Collaboration Matters

Five health-focused nonprofits partner with CFT to create a Community of Practice


To address community needs during the COVID-19 public health crisis, CFT launched a funding opportunity for organizations addressing vaccine hesitancy, aiming to reduce transmission of the virus in urban and rural communities. We also wanted to help nonprofits build community trust and learn if culturally relevant, grassroots approaches to vaccine education and deployment could make a difference in these communities.

Compassion Matters

Compassion Matters

More than 100 organizations unite $72MM initiative toward ending homelessness in our country


The number of local people experiencing homelessness has increased significantly in the last several years, with a 50 percent increase between 2017 to 2020 and an additional 11 percent jump from 2019 to 2020.

Community Matters

Community Matters

CFT invests in public parks to advance community equity


Our vision of thriving communities for all hinges on our ability to advance community equity. One of our intentional investments from our discretionary funds focused on advancing equity is the creation and expansion of public parks. We’ve been investing in parks since our founding in the 1950s, including significant investments in Klyde Warren Park.

Giving with Meaning

Giving with Meaning

The Ashish & Mona Khanna Family Charitable Gift Fund at CFT


“Giving toward a passion brings home a different message. You see the long-term rewards from investing locally and in an area that holds a special place in your heart. Working with CFT has been incredibly rewarding, because the internal satisfaction that comes when you give with meaning is unparalleled.” – Ashish and Mona Khanna

Leaving Legacies of Love: Future Newlyweds Rise to the Occasion

Leaving Legacies of Love: Future Newlyweds Rise to the Occasion

Newlyweds open a charitable giving fund for their guests to make a charitable donation in lieu of a gift.


“We were so excited to tell our parents about our charitable fund. They are deeply proud of our choice. The response from our friends and family has been extremely positive,” said Sarah.

Leaving Legacies of Love: The Cole Wehunt Fund

Leaving Legacies of Love: The Cole Wehunt Fund

Parents honor late son's legacy through fund at CFT


“Cole inspired giving. He was such a generous person. We wanted to give back to our community because North Texas was Cole’s home and where he thrived growing up,” said Kay.