Colonel Leon C. Luther was born and raised on a farm in Valleytown near Andrews, in Cherokee County. At one point, locals called Valleytown Luthertown because of the large number of family members that made their homes there. Colonel Luther graduated from the Andrews public schools system, and managed the family farm until his death in 2004.
After military tours of duty in Europe, the Middle East and Far East, Colonel Luther accepted a position at what is now the Army Logistics Management College. He graduated from many service schools including the Defense Intelligence School and the Defense Language Institute. As military life took Colonel Luther and his wife Grace around the world, they retained a sense of connection to the small town of Andrews and contemplated how to give back.
Beginning in 1996, the Luthers partnered with CFWNC to plan their charitable legacy. Having no children of their own, they felt strongly about providing education and opportunities for young people in Andrews. They funded the Leon C. and Grace E. Luther Scholarship that supports graduating seniors of Andrews High School. Their ultimate gift, a larger asset created at Mrs. Luther’s death last year, is a permanent legacy to the small town they loved and the young people growing up there.
Vice President for Programs Philip Belcher is engaged with local nonprofits and leaders to understand and the challenges and opportunities facing young people and to determine the best way to honor the Luthers their intent and do the most good. The fund will award $90,000 to $100,000 annually to programs benefitting youth beginning in late 2020.