Regnum Christi

Gina and the Raiders

Growing up in Mexico, active in ECYD and becoming a Consecrated Woman of Regnum Christi in 2001, Gina Chavez was never much of a fan of American football.

In the past two years, that has changed – rumor has it she has become a fan of the Oakland Raiders. While that might seem puzzling at first glance, it makes perfect sense.

Gina served in the United States as a consecrated woman from 2005 to 2015 (doing her formation there, as well from 2001 to 2005). She returned to Mexico two years ago (August 2015), where she works with our Mano Amiga schools. And the past two years that has allowed her to be part of a great partnership with the Jack Del Rio Foundation. That accounts for the Raiders connection – Del Rio is their head coach.

For the second consecutive year, an Oakland Raiders contingent traveled to Mexico City to engage in philanthropic endeavors one day prior to the Raiders playing a NFL regular season contest at Estadio Azteca.

Linda and Lauren Del Rio, wife and daughter of Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio, once again led the group in Mexico City to present a donation, as well distribute backpacks stuffed with Jack del Rio Foundation items and school supplies to local underserved children on Saturday, November 18 at NFL Fan Fest at Zocalo Square – Tochito Field.

“We were excited to return to Mexico City and to have another opportunity to fully engage and to provide resources and hope for the many wonderful people who became part of the NFL family last year,” said Linda Del Rio. “Our Jack Del Rio Foundation partnered once again with the Raiders organization and the National Football League to foster the NFL’s goal to leave sustainable elements and resources where we have the privilege to live, work, and play.”

The mission of the Jack Del Rio Foundation is to “motivate our community to meet the needs of underserved youth in our area. We seek to energize, educate and enrich the lives of our youth through the generous investment of financial support, time and devotion.”

And the Foundation has been strong in its praise of Mano Amiga “for your exceptional work in Mexico,” as Linda Del Rio put it.

“Six months ago, I called Gina Chavez of Mano Amiga to discuss the needs of the children,” Linda recalled. “Within minutes of our conversation, the earthquake struck Mexico City, and the severity of the situation was breaking news.

“In that moment, I prayed for the people of Mexico, but the one thing I knew for sure was we would help our friends in Mexico restore, recover and heal their lives…so we went to work to help contribute to the growth and support the needs of Mano Amiga.”

The Raiders are matching the Jack Del Rio Foundation’s $10,000 donation to Mano Amiga, while the NFL Foundation will award an additional $10,000 for a total of $30,000.

“In Mano Amiga, we believe that quality education and an integral formation are the most effective means to break the circle of poverty and transform society,” said Gina Chavez of Mano Amiga. “We thank the Jack Del Rio Foundation, the Raiders and the NFL for joining this mission by promoting human and social values through sports. Your support contributes to the personal and educational enrichment of our students. Thank you!”

Mano Amiga is a non-profit organization that promotes the integral formation of underprivileged children and young people providing them with tools and opportunities to become successful people and active members of their community. Today the network has 21 schools around the country and serves 14,283 students and their families. Mano Amiga’s mission is to “transform people’s lives by creating opportunities through integral education” and its vision is “to be recognized as an engine of positive change for all of our recipients, based on our efficacy at transforming society, through an integral educational model.”

The Del Rios were joined at the event in Mexico City by Raiders Alumni including Pro Football Hall of Famers Fred Biletnikoff and Willie Brown, Raiderettes, Raider Rusher, the team’s youth ambassador, and members of the Raiders Women’s Association, which consists of spouses and significant others of players, coaches and staff as well as front office staff members.

Immediately following the presentation, the Raiders hosted a free youth football clinic for local students in the Mano Amiga organization. Boys and girls will participate in activities that feature the educational and recreational benefits of football presented in a safe and fun environment.

In addition, a select group attended the November 19 Raiders vs. New England Patriots game as special guests of the Jack Del Rio Foundation. (The Patriots prevailed 33-8.)

“Our efforts are focused on supporting, engaging, promoting and assisting the Mano Amiga Organization in its mission to achieving healthy livelihood and we can’t think of a better way to show our commitment and accomplish our joint goals than through the avenue of sport,” said Linda Del Rio.

”We believe in global responsibility where you are, how you are, and exactly as you are. The act of giving creates a virtuous cycle that makes everyone and everything it touches bigger than self. Through the great platform of sport, we hope and strive to change lives, and encourage our youth that no circumstance is bigger than rising strong and being seen.”

Last year before the Raiders defeated the Houston Texans in the first-ever Monday Night Football regular season contest played outside the United States, the Raiders group led by the Del Rios presented a donation to Mano Amiga from the Del Rio Foundation and NFL Mexico. They also provided backpacks, school supplies and playground balls to the kids and toiletry kits to the parents of Mano Amiga. In addition, the Jack Del Rio Foundation presented Mano Amiga with $8,000 for the purchase of athletic uniforms.

In October, the Raiders joined the NFL Foundation, Patriots, and Pittsburgh Steelers in contributing $200,000 to Banorte’s Fundación Banorte to support disaster relief efforts following the September earthquake in Mexico City. Fundación Banorte matched these donations dollar-for-dollar. The funds are being used to help rebuild homes affected by the earthquake in and around Mexico City.

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Alex Kucera

Atlanta

Alex Kucera has lived in Atlanta, GA, for the last 46 years. He is one of 9 children, married to his wife Karmen, and has 3 girls, one grandson, and a granddaughter on the way. Alex joined Regnum Christi in 2007. Out of the gate, he joined the Helping Hands Medical Missions apostolate and is still participating today with the Ghana Friendship Mission.

In 2009, Alex was asked to be the Atlanta RC Renewal Coordinator for the Atlanta Locality to help the RC members with the RC renewal process. Alex became a Group Leader in 2012 for four of the Atlanta Men’s Section Teams and continues today. Running in parallel, in 2013, Alex became a Team Leader and shepherded a large team of good men.

Alex was honored to be the Atlanta Mission Coordinator between 2010 to 2022 (12 years), coordinating 5-8 Holy Week Mission teams across Georgia. He also created and coordinated missions at a parish in Athens, GA, for 9 years. Alex continues to coordinate Holy Week Missions, Advent Missions, and Monthly missions at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Cumming, GA.

From 2016 to 2022, Alex also served as the Men’s Section Assistant in Atlanta. He loved working with the Men’s Section Director, the Legionaries, Consecrated, and Women’s Section leadership teams.

Alex is exceptionally grateful to the Legionaries, Consecrated, and many RC members who he’s journeyed shoulder to shoulder, growing his relationship with Christ and others along the way. He knows that there is only one way, that’s Christ’s Way, with others!