Charitable trust to give more than US$500,000 to the Foundation
Rotarian Carole Kralicek (right) meets with Past RI President Wilfrid J. Wilkinson.Photo courtesy of Kralicek
"I'll have zero personal wealth at the end of my life," says Rotarian Carole Kralicek proudly.
Kralicek, 67, explains that her late husband, Eugene, established a 20-year charitable lead trust that is generating a substantial sum of interest to be donated to charity before passing his assets on to his children.
"The principal stays there for Eugene’s children, and the interest is donated to various charities every year," she says.
A member of the Rotary Club of St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, Kralicek opted not to inherit Eugene’s assets so that more would go to charity, allowing her to live "a regular life."
"I’m not a millionaire, and that was my goal," she says. To Kralicek, a regular life means giving away any money you don’t need. She’s also proud that her children do everything on their own, rather than relying on her. Kralicek has two children from a previous marriage.
The Rotary Foundation will receive between $600,000 and $800,000 from the Kraliceks at the end of 20 years of quarterly giving. The trust also donates to the Boy Scouts of America, a food pantry, a symphony, and various universities and churches.
Kralicek met Eugene when she moved to Bismarck, North Dakota, from Grand Forks to work as the director of the state’s small-business development center. Having been a Rotarian in Grand Forks, she joined the Rotary Club of Bismarck. Several years later, Eugene, a fellow club member, lost his wife to cancer, and the two formed a friendship over a shared interest in antiques, business, and politics. They married in 2002, but sadly, Eugene passed away after three years from liver disease.
"Eugene loved life," says Kralicek, enumerating his many accomplishments and interests: He was not only a successful radiologist but a Boy Scout, dart thrower, potter, collector, wine connoisseur, cook, and pickle canner. "He canned his own pickles," she reiterates, chuckling.
After her husband's death, Kralicek moved to St. Paul to be closer to her grandchildren. "My condo is not in a ritzy area, and I take the bus," she says. When Eugene was alive, the family had seven cars, four homes, and millions of dollars worth of antiques.
Today, Kralicek is semiretired after a successful career as a government official and an entrepreneur who has owned everything from motels to antique shops. Though she still appraises antiques and helps with estate sales in her spare time, she lives off a combination of Social Security, pension money, stock dividends, and interest.
Despite her charitable contributions, Kralicek doesn’t think of herself as a philanthropist. She says her late husband should really get all the credit for establishing the trust.
But she does maintain that she’d much rather give money away than be a rich woman.
"Up until two weeks ago, I drove a 1989 Honda," she says. "I just bought a year-old Toyota."
And what does she do when she does have some extra cash?
"I play the stock market just a little bit. I made some money one day, so I gave $1,000 to ShelterBox."