Cross Country Team Rakes Leaves for Luke


Danae Ludy, Staff Writer

Luke Bradford Gere was a sophomore at Menchville High School.  A member of the cross-country track team, he was known for his commitment to his teammates and speed on the track. After a five-month battle with an aggressive form of cancer, he passed at the age of 16 on December 22, 2020.

Luke was known as a kind, persistent, and hardworking young man who loved to fish, play basketball, and hang out with his friends along the James River. Since the age of 7, he was a lifelong competitive swimmer with the Colony Cudas and Coast Guard Blue Dolphins. In addition, he enjoyed playing flag football in the Upward League at First Baptist Church. Throughout his chemo treatments, he showed grace and gratitude to all who participated in his care at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center and UVA Hospital.

In order to raise money for Luke and his family the cross-country team started Leaves for Luke in December 2020.  Members of the team rake leaves in the fall for donations which they give to Luke’s Legacy.   Last year Luke’s parent’s formed the foundation, Luke’s Legacy to fund scholarships for athletes and cancer research with the money the team raised.   The first year approximately $5,000 was raised with the hope to exceed that amount this year.  All donations are tax-deductible and go towards the foundation Luke’s Legacy.  

The team is booked for the remainder of this leaf-raking season, but plan to continue the program next year.