Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Fundraiser held for the Almendarez Family


In honor of Melvin “Catracho” Almendarez, a popular footballer who was recently murdered, a football marathon was organized to benefit his bereaved family on Sunday, May 15th. The all-day event took place at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Complex, with hundreds of people coming out to support the cause, while enjoying Almendarez’ and the island’s favorite sport, football.Football Marathon Fundraiser for Almendarez-2
A total of nine teams registered for the tournament: Galaxy FC, La Plebe, Vince, San Mateo, Legends, Peace Makers, United FC, Jokers, and the Catrachos. Under the fierce heat of the sun, teams still managed to put on a good ball game! The games were played in knockout rounds, and since nine is not an even number, the games were raffled in a box, where team captains selected a number. The person who received number nine was the Catrachos and they automatically advanced to the second round. All the remaining teams with even numbers were consecutively matched with odd numbers, and after the matches were over, four teams were eliminated. After four teams played in the second round, two teams were eliminated, and Galaxy FC won the raffle to advance into the third round. In the last and final rounds, Galaxy FC won the raffle again, for a spot in the final, championship match. Jokers took a striking victory to meet Galaxy FC.Football Marathon Fundraiser for Almendarez
After eleven hours of football, Jokers FC took the big win. Galaxy FC took second place, while the Catrachos came in at third place, and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the night went to Mario Chimal. All winning teams were presented with trophies by the Almendarez family.
Marathon coordinator Elvis Budna remembers Almendarez as a great friend. Almendarez was Budna’s team player over the last six years. “I knew Almendarez for a good while, and this was the least I could have done in memory of him. It’s not easy being a single mother and this marathon was set up to assist his wife Nancy and family to pay rent or pay school fees for the children,” said Budna.Football Marathon Fundraiser for Almendarez-4
Almendarez played his last official game on Friday, April 15th, where his team, the Peace Makers, competed for the third place spot against Ambergris Divers in the Mayor and Minister’s Cup 2016. His coach, PC Choc remembers his contribution to the team. “He was one of the best midfields, and a good team player. Even though he is not here with us, he will always be a part of our team.”Football Marathon Fundraiser for Almendarez-3
Almendarez’s wife Nancy acknowledges the struggles that come with the loss of her husband, but she promises to be strong for her three children, Steven, Kimberly, and Kelvin. “My husband’s death was unexpected. He was a great husband and a good father. My children need me now more than ever, and I have to live for them,” said Mrs. Almendarez. She appreciates the comfort and help from the community in this difficult time of her life. She continues to thank all who have supported her in every step since her sudden loss.

$1,024 was collected from the football marathon. All registration fees, donations, food and drink sales went to the wife of the deceased, Nancy, and her children. A special thank you goes out Mr. Jeff and Tamara from Chill and Chat Cool Spot for donating the majority of the trophies, the Sports Committee from the San Pedro Town Council for providing the field, net, balls, referee assistance, and trophy donation, all the linemen, Mr. Sanchez for bartending, the San Pedro Police Department for providing security, DJ Julio Requena, and Gabriel Arana for donating a Puma sports backpack prize for the MVP. Organizers would especially like to thank everyone who came out to support the cause and all the teams who participated in the marathon.
Still no arrests on Melvin Almendarez murderMelvin Almendarez El Catracho Pinta Murder-6
It has been over a week since Melvin Almendarez was laid to rest after he was found dead on Friday, May 6th on a feeder road in Southern Ambergris Caye. Almendarez, affectionately knows as ‘Catracho,’ had a clean police record and was not known to be a trouble maker. Instead he was known in the community for his positive contribution to the youth when it came to sports. The reason for his death still remains a mystery. Initially, a Canadian National was detained and placed in police custody as a person of interest in connection to Catracho’s death. However, after 72 hours he was released without any charges. Nevertheless, up to press time police continue their investigation and hope to soon have enough evidence in the apprehension of the responsible/s for Catracho’s death.

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