“A look back at 2022” January 2023 Newsletter

Year End Review

As we enter a new year, we want to take a moment to remember all that we accomplished during 2022 to keep the momentum going. 2022 was a very successful year for The Cristian Rivera Foundation and we want to thank you for making it all possible.

Year End Review

Year End Review

Maria Kuenster
Meets Gio Urshela

May 6, 2022. We arranged for DIPG warrior Maria Kuenster to attend a Minnesota Twins baseball game. She had great seats and met Twins 3rd Baseman Gio Urshela.

Maria Kuenster
visits SNL and Kenan Thompson

May 7, 2022. The Cristian Rivera Foundation flew Maria Kuenster to New York City where she attended Saturday Night Live and took pictures with CRF Board Member and SNL castmate Kenan Thompson.

Year End Review

Year End Review

Jesselyn Silva
Meets Gervonta Davis

May 25, 2022. Jesselyn Silva met Gervonta Davis at the Showtime Boxing press event. She was invited into the ring to have her boxing belt signed by Gervonta Davis. CRF Board of Director Darlene Rodriguez facilitated the meeting and arranged for Jesselyn to have floor seats for the match against Rolando Romero.

Jesselyn Silva
Meets Edgar Berlanga

June 11, 2022. Jesselyn had the chance to attend Edgar Berlanga’s fight against Roamer Alexis Angulo at Madison Square Garden. A few days before the fight, Jesselyn was invited to a press conference for Top Rank where she was presented with an honorary championship belt given to her by Edgar Berlanga himself. He then surprised her by inviting her to stand in the middle of the ring after the fight. It was an incredible experience for Jesselyn and we would like to thank CRF Board of Director Darlene Rodriguez for making it possible.

Year End Review

Year End Review

Year End Review

5th Annual
Full Steam Ahead 5K

June 18, 2022. We had our 5th Annual Full Steam Ahead 5k run/walk that was partly dedicated to our warrior Jesselyn Silva. It was our most successful 5k as we had CRF Board Members, medical partners, family, and friends coming together to participate and raise money to support DIPG research.

6th Annual
Flashback Boat Ride

July 16, 2022. Freestyle/pop/dance artist Noel performed at the 6th Annual CRF Flashback Boat ride and was amazing. It was the perfect summer event that brought out the community to support DIPG in a fun way.

Year End Review

Year End Review

Lisha Ayala
Visits Disney

August 20, 2022. Our DIPG warrior Lisha Ayala and her mother had the opportunity to visit Disney in Florida and CRF assisted financially with the costs to make it happen. They had a great time.

Jesselyn Silva
Receives Boxing License

August 22, 2022. Jesselyn Silva received her NYS Pro Boxing License from NYS Governor Kathy Hochul. She was also given a signed pair of boxing gloves by the governor and a coin that commemorates the first convention for women’s rights in NYS in 1848. Special thanks to our Board of Director Darlene Rodriguez for making this possible.

Year End Review

Year End Review

Jesselyn Silva
Meets Mike Tyson

September 1, 2022. CRF Board Member Rena Kliot orchestrated a meet and greet between our warrior Jesselyn Silva and the former heavyweight champion of the world, Mike Tyson. Jesselyn was thrilled to meet him. It was an experience that we will never forget.

13th Annual
Celebrity Gala

November 16, 2022. The 13th Annual Celebrity Gala was held at Capitale in NYC. Our celebrity gala is our biggest event every year and it raises funds for research, financial support, and awareness of DIPG. The 13th Annual Gala included many notable guests such as Kenan Thompson, Darlene Rodriguez, AJ Calloway, Chazz Palminteri, Malik Yoba, William DeMeo, and many more. This gala was our most successful to date. It allowed CRF to surpass last year’s amount donated for DIPG research and financial support to impacted families. We would like to thank everyone who participated in one way or another.

Year End Review

Year End Review

Litzy Molina
Experiences Disney On Ice

November 25, 2022. DIPG warrior Litzy Molina is a huge Disney fan, so we purchased tickets for her and her family to experience Disney On Ice. Her happiness means the world to us and we were thrilled to know she had an amazing time.

CRF Breaks Last Year’s Record
with 350k Donation to Weill Cornell

November 29, 2022. On Giving Tuesday, CRF gave Dr. Mark Souweidane, our medical partner, over a 3rd of a million dollars ($350,000) to support his DIPG research. In 2022, we were able to donate more than we ever have to our medical partners. We appreciate all those who continue to support us.

Year End Review

Year End Review

Enters CAR-T Cell Trial in Seattle

December 2, 2022. We were thrilled to present a check to our warrior Jesselyn Silva for expenses related to the CAR T-Cell trial in Seattle. Jesselyn is a true warrior who continues to inspire us every day.

Dr. Oren Becher Receives
our Annual Check for his Research

December 13, 2022. Chairman of the Board Melinda Colon Cox, Executive Board Member Rena Kliot, Board Member Vanessa Rodriguez, and Committee Friend Maggie Meehan presented a check of $25,000 to our medical partner Dr. Oren Becher to further his research of DIPG.

Year End Review

Year End Review

Litzy Molina’s Family
Receives Financial Support

December 16, 2022. CRF Senior Board Members Carlos Colon, Steve Cox, and Committee Friend Michael Navarez had the pleasure of visiting the family of DIPG warrior Litzy Molina to give them another check for financial support. It was a beautiful surprise that we learned Litzy began standing on her own and we couldn’t have been happier.

Year End Review

We can’t wait to see what 2023 brings and we look forward to experiencing it with our wonderful supporters!

Year End Review

Cristian Rivera Foundation

John "Gungie" Rivera

Chairman of the Board:
Melinda Colon Cox

Board of Director:
Darlene Rodriguez

Executive Board Member:
Rena Kliot

Committee Members:
Aldo Marin, Carlos Colon,
Fernando Ferrer, Jarrad Seuferling,
Kenan Thompson, Luis Guzman,
Meiling Macias Toro, Paul Pristavec,
Rafael Toro, Steve Cox
and Vanessa Rodriguez

Committee Friends:
Alberto Torres, Alex Garcia,
Maggie Meehan, Mark Rosner,
and Michael V. Narvaez

Honorary Committee Members:
The Late Anthony Mason
and The Late Miriam Colon

David Rodriguez, Edward Caban,
And Vito Bruno


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Copyright © 2023 Cristian Rivera Foundation, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Cristian Rivera Foundation PO Box 656. Edgewater, NJ 07020
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