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Adios 2020! Happy New Year! New Mexico Brujos Look Back On Year of Action and Hope for 2021 .

2020 is over at last (I'm not gonna lie, it felt really good to write that). And while we can't start making plans for 2021 just, there's hope on the horizon that maybe this year will be better than the last. So while we keep our fingers crossed for this year, let's take a look back on a year that while there wasn't much rugby played, witnessed a lot of community action accomplished the New Mexico Brujos and their friends and family.

The year began with the annual Rugby is a Drag Show and fundraiser, and it was the most successful one yet. In its fourth year, the event raised over $1500 for our partners at Casa Q, and at risk LGBTQ youth in Albuquerque. Sadly do to the pandemic the status of this year's Rugby is a Drag Show is uncertain, but you can be sure that you haven't seen the last of it. The annual fat boy fitness run that took place in February before last year's Superbowl was also a a success, raising money for suicide prevention in ABQ.

Believe it or not, the Brujos did play rugby in 2020. It's seems like years ago now, but in late February the Brujos won a hard fought warm up friendly up at Adams State. Then in early March the Brujos won their first Rio Grande Rugby Union Match of the year beating the visiting El Paso Scorpions 57 to 38. Excitement was very high going into the next match against the Varks, and then....

Everyone knows what happened next, no need to dwell on it. Covid-19 has killed over 300k Americans to date, sickened millions more, so in comparison the loss of a rugby season, not to mention our two scheduled tournaments including the premiere of the Sandia 7s, seems like small potatoes.

Instead let's focus on where the Brujos went from there.

In May the NM Brujos created a fundraiser that saw them as a team running a marathon a day to raise money for S.A.F.E. House and domestic violence survivors in the state. The fundraiser was a tremendous success, raising $3,318 for S.A.F.E. house, and as a team ran 1080.61 miles.

In late June the Brujos year of action continued as they joined the Atomic Sisters Women’s Rugby team, Albuquerque Roller Derby team and Duke City Roller Derby to stage a 5k Run Against Racism to raise money for Black Lives Matter and raise awareness of institutional racism. The event proved to be a success on both fronts. Nearly 100 members of all 4 teams and their family and friends competed in the virtual 5k over the weekend, and the event raised $3490 towards the local Black Lives Matter chapter.

In August the New Mexico Brujos Rugby Club held their annual general meeting, bidding farewell to outgoing president Adrian Perez and seeing Brad Greene elected president for the upcoming two year term. Eliot Salgado was re-elected vice president as were treasurer Bobby Garcia and secretary Travis Smith. On the team side of things, Leon Wilson was named team captain and Sean Callahan was named vice team captain.

In October the New Mexico Brujos and the Atomic Sisters took part in a clothing drive gathering much needed socks, underwear and other items for the Westside emergency shelter and the results were a happy success. in only around 11 days the NM Brujos and their friends and families collected 222 pairs of socks, nearly 200 pair of underwear, and other necessary stuff including t-shirts, toothbrushes, and other used clothing items. All in all the Brujos and the Atomic sisters donated 9 bins of donated materials to the Westside shelter.

In November members of the New Mexico Brujos, and their friends the Atomic Sisters, and Albuquerque Aardvarks joined together to volunteer to help the Roadrunner Food Bank prepare for the 2020 holiday season. Also in November, the New Mexico Brujos participated in "Movember", a cause that raises awareness and money to reduce some of the biggest health crises that affect men, specifically mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. In 2019 the Brujos raised over $600 for this cause. Well in 2020 they topped that and raised $725!

I'd be remiss in looking back on 2020 without mentioning the Brujos two newest sponsors, Kilt Lifter from Four Peak Brewing and Rich Ford. When the Brujos finally take the field in 2021, it will be decked out in some cool new kits provided by the generosity of these great organizations.

There was also lots of cool new merch, including Brujos masks, workout shirts, Sandia 7s tournament balls and very cool new hoodies, all of which are still available at the NM Brujos online store.

So there you have it, 2020 was a bust on the pitch, but the Brujos and their friends, families and fellow teams pitched in to to give back to the community and stay engaged with one another in a year unlike any other. Now let's mask up, get vaccinated, support one another, and get back to doing what we really love, playing some rugby. Que viva 2021!


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