By Cynthia Wolff
Yolo Hospice and our community lost a faithful and tireless advocate when Tony Cueva of Vacaville died on Jan. 26 at his home, surrounded by his family. Tony proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps during Vietnam and received multiple awards and medals, including the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V” for valor.
Tony worked at Anheuser Busch for more than 25 years until his retirement. He was founding president of the Mexican Open Golf Tournament, which has earned money for numerous organizations throughout Yolo and Solano counties and presented scholarships to local high school seniors.
He was born in Jalisco, Mexico, on May 10, 1944, and is survived by his beloved wife Terri, two sons, two grandchildren, four brothers and five sisters.
In 2010, Tony was awarded the Living Legacy Award for Philanthropic Innovation from the Solano County Board of Supervisors for his generosity, creativity and ability to engage others in service to the community. In 2011, Tony also received the Community Quarterback Award from the San Francisco 49ers Foundation in partnership with NFL Charities to recognize his tireless dedication to our community.
Those of us who were privileged to know and work with Tony will miss his energy and vitality, which fueled his passion to make a better place for others. He embraced and welcomed you into his large extended family.
Since 2005, Yolo Hospice patients and family members have benefited from his generosity. Through his guidance, the Mexican Open Golf Committee has donated $56,000 to Yolo Hospice. His dedication and vision will continue as planning begins for the Mexican Open Golf Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 13.
This will be my third event. Many of our Yolo Hospice staff volunteer and participate by golfing. We challenge each other to sign up a foursome for golf. Tony’s sisters and a large cadre of friends and family members prepare the food for the Mexican Fiesta celebration after the golfing. Mexican folkloric ballet and mariachi band members make this celebration an event to remember.
Generous donations from the community businesses provide numerous items for raffle prizes. It is an amazing event, like spending a day in Mexico. Into the evening hours, people enjoy dancing to the rhythms of rock and roll. Everyone works so hard to make it special.
This year, as Terri plays her guitar at the event, we will be reminded of how we all miss Tony. For more history and photos of the event, visit www.mexicanopenevent.org.
— Cynthia Wolff is director of access and outreach for Yolo Hospice. This column is published monthly.