The Cristian Rivera Foundation is taking its fight to the streets. The New York-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization will be appearing on a 68×20 billboard, facing south on the north side of the West Side Highway and 132nd Street in Manhattan, for one month beginning May 10, 2010.
Renowned NYC event promoter John “Gungie” Rivera created the Foundation in July 2009 to find a cure for Pontine Glioma, the rare pediatric brain stem tumor that claimed the life of his six-year-old son. Generally, this inoperable tumor affects children between the ages of 1
and 9, with the average lifespan of a child after diagnosis falling between three and 18 months. Only 300 cases of Pontine Glioma are discovered in the United States each year, and the Cristian Rivera Foundation strives to improve the lives of children and families dealing with the disease through awareness and clinical research program funding.
With prominent placement of this billboard, the Cristian Rivera Foundation hopes to invite scores of New York City residents and visitors to log onto the website, learn about Pontine Glioma, make a donation or purchase one of the Foundation’s signature blue wristbands to symbolize their support of the cause.
As the billboard says, “Help our kids. Let’s find a cure for Pontine Glioma.”
The Cristian Rivera Foundation welcomed two new members to its high-profile Committee actress Miriam Colon and Khaliah Ali, daughter of Mohammad Ali. Colon is a veteran of stage and screen, having appeared in Scarface, All the Pretty Horses, soap opera Guiding Light and HBO’s How to Make it in America. She is also the founder, artistic director and head of the board of directors at Manhattan’s Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. Ali is more than just the child of a sports icon. She’s a fashion designer, former Ford model, and Emmy Award-nominated talk show host. Ali wrote Fighting Weight, a book about her quest for the perfect weight through gastric lap band surgery, and helps othe rs going through the same thing as the spokesperson for New Jersey’s Banding Centers of America.
The Cristian Rivera Foundation made the pages of Life & Style magazine. The publication’s latest issue features a photo of P. Diddy showing off the Cristian Rivera Foundation wristband he was seen wearing at New York nightclub Duvet, as well as information about the Foundation’s mission to help children with Pontine Glioma.
From the article:
“What the Stars are… Doing for Charity
DIDDY gives back by wearing a Cristian Rivera Foundation bracelet, which supports kids diagnosed with Pontine Glioma, a rare, inoperable brain disease (CristianRiveraFoundation.org).”
The Cristian Rivera Foundation welcomed family, friends, Committee members and special celebrity guests to its first Gala on Tuesday, September 29 at Eden. Hosted by comedian Ruperto Vanderpool and emceed by J.I. Starr of La Mega 97.9 FM, the night featured entertainment from Committee member Raul Acosta of Oro Solido, as well as moving tributes to Cristian Rivera and a special speech by New York City mayoral candidate Bill Thompson. Guests enjoyed a dinner catered by celebrity chefs Ricardo Cardona and Alex Garcia and featuring food from Hudson River Café, Mamajuana Café, Sofrito, 809 Bar & Grill, Sazon, Calle Ocho and Playa.
Among those special guests who came to remember Cristian at the site of his fifth birthday, as well as raise funds toward finding a cure for Pontine Glioma, were actor Luis Guzman, actress Miriam Colon, filmmaker Franc Reyes, international Salsa star and Committee member Jose Alberto “El Canario,” Dina Manzo of Real Housewives of New Jersey and rapper Jim Jones, who is the latest member of the Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee. Jones has made many appearances on the Billboard charts since releasing his first solo album in 2004, including his biggest hit “We Fly High.” He is co-CEO of Diplomat Records, has his own freestyle rollerblading team, Dip Skate, and is an acclaimed video director who has worked with Cam’ron, Remy Ma and State Property.
Jim Jones, the American rapper born Joseph Guillermo Jones II is the latest member of the Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee. Jones has made many appearances on the Billboard charts since releasing his first solo album in 2004, including his biggest hit “We Fly High.” That song famously inspired a dance emulated by Michael Strahan and Plaxico Burress on Monday Night Football. Jones is co-CEO of Diplomat Records, has his own freestyle rollerblading team, Dip Skate, and is an acclaimed video director who has worked with Cam’ron, Remy Ma and State Property.
Jones will be joining the rest of the Committee, as well as special celebrity guests, at tonight’s Cristian Rivera Foundation Gala.
Bad Boy Records founder Sean Combs showed his support for the Cristian Rivera Foundation by sporting the organization’s signature wristband at a Manhattan nightclub. The artist and entrepreneur, who goes by the name P. Diddy, made the fashion statement at Duvet on Friday, August 21, where he partied with John “Gungie” Rivera. As Combs left the club, he walked past the cashier, who lifted her wrist to show her Cristian Rivera Foundation wristband. Combs responded in kind, showing that one lift of the wrist can lift a lot of spirits.
Fernando Ferrer, the first Latino Mayoral candidate in New York City history and friend of John “Gungie” Rivera and Cristian Rivera, has honored the Cristian Rivera Foundation by becoming a member of the Cristian Rivera Foundation committee. Ferrer was a Democratic Mayoral candidate in 2005 and the Democratic Party nominee for Mayor in 2001.
John “Gungie” Rivera played a major role in implementing strategic marketing and fundraising for Ferrer in 2001 when he became a Democratic Party Nominee. He also executed strategic marketing, fundraising, design and maintenance of the website for Fernando Ferrer’s bid for Democratic Mayoral Candidate in 2005. Ferrer is a former Bronx borough president where he served from 1988 to 2002. Before becoming Bronx borough president, he also served as a member of the New York City Council. Ferrer received his B.A. from New York University.