More than 140 participants turned out for this year’s Gray Classic Golf Tournament, which raised money for 100 Black Men of Charlotte.

Tournament founder Herb Gray recently sat with to talk about the past, present and future of the annual event. Gray also is founder of Life Enhancement Services, a nationally accredited provider of case management services to clients with mental and behavioral health disorders.

Q. How long have you been doing the Gray Classic?

On record it said this was our second year. Truly, this was our third year. Our first year I had only 12 or 13 guys. I was not a golfer. I’ve been playing golf only about a year and a half. So I just got some of my buddies together and said, “You’re going to play golf.” The second year I did it again but gave it an official name so that I could market the thing and ended up with seventy-some guys. That night we had a party and gave the money to the Urban League. This year we had 144.

Q. What’s the tournament about? What’s its purpose?

I wanted to do something in a different type of environment that wasn’t just party, that wasn’t just happy hour. I wanted something that could bring people together, an event where they could talk about ideas or businesses or things of that nature. It really didn’t have anything to do with golf, because again, I’m not a golfer. But if you just wanted to come out here, maybe you could meet someone who could advance your cause.

Q. Has it always been a benefit?

The first year it was not a benefit. The second year we did a party at night to benefit the Urban League. The third year I was looking for a partner. The 100 Black Men and I, we talked back and forth. They are mentoring kids who are trying to go on to college. I said if I could lift up what they were doing and raise corporate dollars then that’s what we would do.

Read the entire interview on QcityMetro.

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