Joao Teixeira always did enjoy a good round of golf.
The union head and Mineola resident had passed away from brain cancer in 2011, but about 250 community members came out Monday night to participate in a charity golf outing and dinner in his honor.
Teixeira played a large role in his community, being the president of the local 1010 labor union and serving on the Board of Directors. So, when he passed away from brain cancer last year, his community jumped at the chance to give back.
His wife, Esmeralda, and children John and Melanie, joined with friends to form a committee to create an event in remembrance of him.
“He was so involved with the laborers,” his wife said during the dinner at the Mineola Portuguese Center. “We wanted to do something positive.”
The committee, consisting of Joe and Gabriella Pontes, Tony and Nelson Santos, Manny Matos, Jorge and Joe Padinha and Manuel Ramalhete. chose a golf outing and dinner since it was an event in which the entire community could participate and enjoy.
“My dad was involved with helping young people,” said Teixeira’s son, John. “He tried to be involved with as many people as possible. He promoted dances, things of that nature.”
The red and white color scheme was also chosen in Teixeira’s memory, being the pigments of his favorite soccer team, Pourtugal-based Benfica. Also, those who worked on the event wore red and white polos with the charity logo and “Joao Teixeira Memorial Golf Outing” embroidered into the fabric.
“He was an entangled part of this Portuguese-American community,” Nelson Santos said, “and for me, he was like a mentor.”
“I’ve known him for a long time,” owner Manny Carvalho said. “He was a friend, and a part of the community. It was such a shame.”
The money raised from the golf outing and dinner for the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where Teixeira received treatment. Donations came from participants in the tournament as well as local sponsors and tournament participants received trophies for everything from longest drive to best score.
The night also included a raffle hosted by Dave Pastilla, where prizes included various golf-related items, a signed jersey, a 32-inch TV and tickets to and Islanders and Yankees games. A 50/50 raffle also afforded another $665 to the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
The Teixeira family plans on making the Joao Teixeira Memorial Golf Outing an annual event.
“We just wanted to fundraise for the cancer that took him,” Esmeralda said. “I really appreciate all the effort and time everyone put in to be here.”