Tommy Livoti was a one of kind and his drive and big personality made an impact on me. The realization of his charitable plans will make an impact on families in Carson City.
Tommy always said that Bennie told him in his dreams to leave an important charitable legacy gift. Bennie, his spouse and the love of his life, passed away in 2006. When I first met Tommy, he was driving a pink Cadillac that had been Bennie’s pride and joy. I never met Bennie, but she was clearly something special. She was a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy, tough as nails, and beautiful and caring as could be.
I first met Tommy when he was referred to the Community Foundation in 2013 by his attorney. He asked us to arrange for his house to be used as a rectory for the Catholic clergy of Saint Teresa of Avila Church following his passing, The Community Foundation was delighted to put these plans in place, and as I write this, we are pending transfer of the property from Tommy’s estate. We have met with the Church, and they are deciding what they will do. Tommy wasn’t sure if the clergy would want to use the house, but he wanted the Church, and its parochial school, in particular, to benefit, In the event that Saint Teresa’s does not want to use the house as a rectory, it will be sold and the proceeds put in an endowment that will provide income to the school annually for student scholarships. Tommy said all these plans were things Bennie told him to do. He said once they were finalized with the Community Foundation, he could sleep well knowing he had honored her.
As I would meet occasionally with Tommy and tell him about the Community Foundation, he became more involved in his personal philanthropy. Tommy was a very conservative investor, only comfortable with fixed instrument investing, so his personal income was in the low percentage points. Initially, Tommy established and funded an endowment to start the scholarship program in his lifetime, and he also supported Boy Scouts in Carson City. As Tommy learned about how charitable gift annuities worked, he started funding those.
The annuities resulted in big tax deductions for Tommy, as well as greatly increased income. He even bought a Porsche, something he had always wanted to do. Tommy really knew how to live and had a community full of friends.
When Tommy passed at the end of 2019, the charitable gift annuity investments he made at the Community Foundation transferred into his scholarship fund for Saint Teresa of Avila School. Tommy sent me a note from the hospital before he passed. It was meaningful to realize how glad Tommy was for all the plans he had made, and of the trust he placed in the Community Foundation, and in me. I was incredibly touched. Sometimes this is a hard job, but it is always an honor.
More than 100 families have made legacy plans with the Community Foundation. We are honored to be trusted in each and every arrangement and promise that we will carry out each person’s instructions to the letter. And, sometimes those arrangements encompass gift instruments like charitable gift annuities that can even lead to increased quality of life. These are things that may not be top of mind when you think about the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, but they are perhaps some of the most meaningful things we do.
Please share our information with your friends and colleagues and help encourage impactful philanthropy in our region.
Chris Askin, President and CEO