The Louise R. Lester Foundation was founded in 2001 through the charitable giving of Mrs. Louise Robertson Lester. Mrs. Lester was a native of Martinsville, VA and a graduate of Spencer-Penn, excelling in academics and athletics. Upon graduation, she attended Bentley Business College and Gassaway Business College and later in life, Patrick Henry Community College and Averett College. She studied interior design, architecture, and art. She was an accomplished artist producing beautiful paintings to grace her home. A collection of her poetry has been published under the title of her life’s motto, “Life, Love and Laughter.” As a distinguished member of the International Society of Poets, she was honored in 2002 by the reading of her poem “Whitman” at the Convention and Symposium of the ISP.

Mrs. Lester passed away in 2017 at the age of 96. The Louise R. Lester Foundation seeks to continue on with her legacy of philanthropy and charitable giving. The Foundation will be based in Roanoke, Virginia but charitable giving will extend beyond the Roanoke Valley.