One of New York City’s best-known music promoters of the ‘90s is having a throwback dance party — that doubles as a fundraiser for a cause near and dear to his heart.
Revelers who hop aboard the Circle Line on Saturday, July 15, at 7 p.m. for the second annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Freestyle Flashback Benefit Boatride will be treated to several hours of freestyle dance music courtesy of a live performance by singer Noel, along with DJ Tedsmooth, Big Paul and Rob Lo, with Alizay and Speedy of the Luis Jimenez Show serving as hosts.
But the real purpose of the evening is to raise money for the Cristian Rivera Foundation, a nonprofit that donates all monies raised to hospitals and foundations researching cures for DIPG, a deadly childhood cancer.
The foundation is named for Rivera’s son Cristian, who was diagnosed with DIPG in 2007 and died two years later at age 6. DIPG — diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma — is a rare form of brain cancer that affects less than 300 kids each year but has an extremely high mortality rate. Less than 1% of those diagnosed with the disease live five years after being diagnosed.
“Creating awareness and fundraising is very difficult,” says Rivera, who founded the Cristian Rivera Foundation in 2009 and has dedicated his life to the cause in memory of his son.
The concept of a fun-filled boat ride around Manhattan with live music was “a way to get 600 people to come to an event because of the entertainment,” Rivera adds.
“Once they are at the event I am able to educate them about DIPG while raising funds. By the end of the event a fair percentage of our attendees become supporters of the foundation, so it’s a win-win. Most of the attendees are people who used to attend my events or follow me when I was a DJ.”
“In the spring of 2018 we are going do the first annual walk,” Rivera says. “We also have three concerts in the works as well as various small cocktail receptions that are being produced by our board of directors, committee members, committee friends and our supporters.”
Rivera says the foundation’s efforts to raise money for research are beginning to pay off. “One of the patients in our trials, an 11-year old girl from Connecticut named Lisha Ayala, has had DIPG for almost five years. In the past four years there has been no activity in her tumor,” he says.
“I may be speaking prematurely, but my feeling is that she will be our first survivor. To my knowledge, there has been no one with DIPG that has lived this long.”
The Cristian Rivera Foundation Freestyle Flashback Benefit Boatride on Saturday, July 15, starts at 7 p.m. sharp on the Circle Line at Pier 83, W.42nd St. and Westside Highway. The event is from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.
To purchase tickets or for more information, go to cristianriverafoundation.org
1st place Winner (4 Premium Tickets to a NY Yankee Game)
Ticket Number: 2764
(Raffle Sold By Gina Lisa)
2nd Place Winner (IPad)
Ticket Number: 4748
(Raffle Sold By Robert Cruz)
3rd Place Winner (Mountain Bike)
Ticket Number: 2429
(Raffle Sold by Chris Vargas)
Cristian Rivera Foundation would like to Thank all the people who participated.
“Full Steam Ahead”.
It is with the HEAVIEST Heart that we acknowledge the Loss of CRF Committee Member and our Founders VERY DEAR Friend Miriam Colon who passed away March 3, 2017. Miriam was one of our VERY Active Committee Members and had been secretly battling Dementia. We are all SO SAD.
CRF learned yesterday that Lisha’s follow up was “Thumbs Up” her next MRI is 4/18. She is living proof that we will find “A CURE”!
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January is always an sad month for The Cristian Rivera Foundation. First, Cristian was Diagnosed with DIPG January 21st, 2007 and Lost his Battle to DIPG January 25th 2009. Cristian would have been 14 years old had he’d been alive.
But this January we have something to be Happy about, it marks 4 years Lisha has had DIPG and is doing GREAT. Just a few weeks ago we learned that her latest MRI showed NO GROWTH. Lisha is living proof that we will find a cure for DIPG. The Cristian Rivera Foundation exists to fight until the day that being Diagnosed with DIPG is just a bump in the road and not a death sentence.
The Cristian Rivera Foundation is also very excited to announce that we have donated $140,000 Weill Cornell and Duke from the proceeds 8th Annual Celebrity Fundraising Gala which was on November 30th. We were thrilled with the Gala this year and are grateful to all our Board of Directors, Committee Members, Committee Friends, Sponsors, Advertisers and Supporters. We worked so hard to make this the best event to date.
If you couldn’t participate at the 8th Annual Celebrity Fundraising Gala, you can still help by making a donation. All monetary contributions are tax-deductible. All support is appreciated and brings us one step closer to a CURE.
Here are 2 letters the Cristian Rivera Foundation received after this year’s Gala.
We are thrilled to introduce
The Cristian Rivera FoundationJohn “Gungie” Rivera
(Founder of The Cristian Rivera Foundation & “Forever Cristian’s Daddy”)Board of Directors of the Cristian Rivera Foundation:
Andy Epstein, Darlene Rodriguez and Craig Serra.Committee Members of the Cristian Rivera Foundation:
Aldo Marin, Alex Garcia, Carlos Colon, Carlos Yepez, Dennis Rodriguez,
Dr. Manuel A. Moran, Elis Pacheco, Fernando Ferrer, Jarrad Seuferling, Jesse Allison,
Kenan Thompson, Louie Vega, Luis Guzman, Meiling Macias Toro, Miriam Colon,
Nirav Patel, Robert Vazquez, Rafael Toro, Ramon E. Javier,
Steve Cox, Teddy “DJ Tedsmooth” Mendez, Tony Ferrara and Vito Bruno
Committee Friends of the Cristian Rivera Foundation:
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