Tree planting honors businessman

The New Bronx Chamber of Commerce took time during its annual golf outing recently to plant a tree in honor of the memory of someone who helped the organization with its revitalization. Golfers planted the tree, in honor of Hector Del Toro, next to the putting green of the Pelham Bay Split Rock Golf Course, where the businessman loved to golf.

Friends came together to honor the memory of Del Toro, who passed away on March 10 after a battle with cancer. Del Toro, 58, was instrumental in providing advice and guidance to the Bronx Chamber over the past few years as the organization revitalized itself from the inside out. An independent real estate consultant based out of Mount Vernon, Del Toro was an avid golfer who had been a member of the Bronx River Golf Club.

“He was a service-oriented man who was always there when the chamber needed him,” Chamber CEO Lenny Caro said. “We planted the tree on what was his favorite golf course. The tree will always be there in his honor.” Caro said Del Toro’s advice was instrumental as the chamber sought to redefine and redirect its efforts.

Del Toro’s wife Matilde said that he would have been pleased with the location of the tree, because the golf course was his home away from home.

“I thought that the tree planting was so beautiful because it was so Hector,” Del Toro said. “He would always play and practice there. He was either sleeping, eating, or playing golf. I thought that it was an appropriate and beautiful gesture. He was there all of the time. He loved that place.”

The couple had been married for 14 years. They have two children together: Giulo, 4 and Angelo, 8. He also had a third son, Hector Jr., from a previous marriage. She said that playing golf was a way of distracting himself from his battle with cancer.

“When he did have cancer, golfing and the golf course was a way of not having to think about being sick,” his wife said. “You couldn’t even tell he was sick. Two or three days after chemotherapy, he would be back there on the course.”

Del Toro grew up on Olmstead Avenue. His sister Elizabeth Del Toro remembered that her brother was an avid reader and athlete who was always passionate about learning and taking on new challenges.

“Hector was a guy who was teaching everyone around him all of the time,” Elizabeth Del Toro said. “Whatever he was involved in, he was passionate and would do it at 200%. He loved books when he was younger, and was reading all of time. He became so involved in what he was doing that everyone around him became as excited as he was.”

The tree will remain on the course for all to see.

More from Around NYC