The final day of the 20th Annual Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf and Tennis Challenge, held at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., culminated Saturday evening, August 31, with an awards dinner celebrating the Challenge champions and an unforgettable stage performance by R&B icon Charlie Wilson. The awards dinner was hosted by FedEx and featured multitalented actor Anthony Anderson as emcee for the evening.
Charlie Wilson delivered an unforgettable show, taking the high bar already set with fantastic performances by Melanie Fiona and super-percussionist Sheila E. on the same stage the previous evening and blowing it into the stratosphere. Singing classic hits from his time as lead singer of the Gap Band, as well as the favorites that have made him one of the hottest R&B acts on the planet as a solo artist, “Uncle Charlie” and his high-energy band and gifted background dancers had the house rocking from the moment he stepped onto the stage and still shaking when he finally left it, with his audience screaming for more.
Wilson’s performance capped an inspiring evening of awards, full of laughter and celebration thanks to emcee Anthony Anderson. After an invocation by Black Enterprise Sr. Vice President/Multimedia Editor-at-Large Alfred Edmond Jr., and remarks from Black Enterprise CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr., Pepsico Walmart Inc. Team Sr. Vice President/GM Steven Williams and Federal Express Executive Vice President and CFO Cathy Ross, Anderson took the stage to announce the winners of the Challenge golf and tennis competitions, each of whom earned awards from Tiffany’s. Also presented were the coveted Purple Jackets, awarded to the the top male and female competitors in golf and tennis over three days of tournament competitions.
The Purple Jackets for golf were presented to Deborah Jackson and Rick Foster for the lowest gross scores in women’s and men’s competition. Jackson, who has been playing golf for more than 30 years, was also the 2012 Women’s Golf Challenge Champion. Foster is also a multiple Men’s Golf Challenge winner. Also presented with golf awards:
Women’s Flight: Jennifer Bembry (First Place Low Net), Brenda Gould (Second Place Low Net)
Men’s A Flight: NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor (First Place Low Net), Rodney Monroe (Second Place Low Net-Tie Break), Cyrus Walker (Third Place Low Net-Tie Break)
Men’s B Flight: Thornel Brian Corbin (First Place Low Gross), Chris Ward (First Place Low Net), Clarence Scott (Second Place Low Net), Tony Hodge (Third Place Low Net)
The Purple Jackets for the overall tennis champions of “Wimbledon” Division A were awarded to Lisa Webber and Dr. Franklyn Scott. Webber earned her third consecutive Purple Jacket and her fourth overall, having also won the tennis tournament in 2007. Scott earned a second Purple Jacket, having won the tournament in 2011. Other Tennis Challenge winners:
“U.S. Open” Division B: Kenny Calhoun (First Place), Jackie Sharp (Second Place)
“French Open” Division C: Sandra Richards (First Place), Anthony Gallegos (Second Place)
Also honored at the awards dinner were Susan Burroughs, recognized as Most Improved Golfer by PGA Golf Pro Rodney Green (lead instructor of the Challenge Golf Academy), and Debra Draper, who earned the annual Spa Award for most pampered spa client.
Earlier in the day, winners of other annual Challenge competitions were also determined. The women were victorious in the Mars Vs. Venus Trivia Competition, withstanding a furious comeback from the men in the final round. The 3-0n-3 Basketball Tournament, sponsored by Gatorade, was won by the team of Vincent Langston, Melvin Robinson, Wayne Buckner and Shekinah Green.