Family honors dad with golf tourney
As a girl, Lenore Walsh Gray’s mom and dad taught her the importance of giving back to the community by caring for less fortunate children.
Now, Gray and her siblings have carried those lessons into adulthood and continue to help others.
Gray, the youngest of seven Walsh children, was 13 when her parents decided to become foster parents.
Over the next few years, the Walshes opened their home to more than 25 foster children.
“It taught us to be appreciative of what we were born with. It was just really neat,” she said. “It was something we all really enjoyed. They became like siblings to us. We still keep in touch with some of them.”
The Walshes had the opportunity to adopt one of the foster children they had raised since birth.
“One of the foster children, when he was 5, did go up for adoption, so they did adopt him,” Gray said. “So there are actually eight of us Walsh kids now.”
When family patriarch and Shell Energy executive Ray Walsh succumbed to a rare form of lymphoma in 2005, his children got together to think of ways to recognize what he meant to them.
Ray Walsh was an avid golfer who built his home on a golf course, so it didn’t take long for Gray and her siblings to decide that an annual charity golf tournament would be the perfect way to honor their father and keep his name alive in the community.
Four months later, the Walsh family hosted its first Ray Walsh Memorial Golf Tournament. The tournament drew 118 golfers that year and now boasts an average of 144 players. The eighth annual Ray Walsh Memorial Golf Tournament was held Nov. 2 at the Kingwood Country Club.
“We’re a big tournament for not being a big corporate tournament,” Gray said. “We’ve been able to give all this money to The Methodist Hospital (in Houston’s Texas Medical Center), and they created an account in my dad’s name to use for (cancer and lymphoma) research. It’s been really rewarding.”
When she’s not working as a preschool teacher or helping to organize the Ray Walsh Memorial Golf Tournament, Gray’s three daughters keep her busy with their cheerleading, gymnastics and dance activities.
For more information on the annual Ray Walsh Memorial Golf Tournament, visit www.raywalshfoundation.org.
ABOUT LENORE WALSH GRAY
OCCUPATION: Preschool teacher
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Kingwood resident
FAST FACT: Gray and her husband, Steve, are avid tennis players.15
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