Famed actor Luis Guzman, who was recently seen in the hit film Journey 2 Mysterious Island, brought his support of the Cristian Rivera Foundation all the way to Chicago, where he was participating in the Marc Anthony and Henry Cardenas Maestro Cares fundraising event. A proud Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee Member, Guzman was seen wearing the foundation´s wooden beaded wristband with a charm in the shape of the Cristian Rivera Foundation´s train logo. These bracelets were inspired by Cristian´s Mommy Jenelle Asencio and made their debut at the third annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Gala.
The Cristian Rivera Foundation presented Dr. Mark Souweidane with $30,000 at its Second Annual Gala, which took place at NYC event space Quo on Tuesday, October 19. The money raised from ticket sales is funding promising clinical research that Dr. Souweidane feels will revolutionize the treatment of Pontine Glioma. Dr. Souweidane, who also received the Foundation’s Vision of Hope award, has dedicated his career to the goal of curing this inoperable brain stem tumor. This substantial donation was just one of the night’s many highlights. Guests got the chance to bid on unique items in both live and silent auctions, including boxing gloves autographed by legendary boxer Muhammad Ali and a date with “Las Gemelas Lulu y Lala” from The Luis Jimenez Show on X96.3. Celebrity Chefs Alex Garcia and Ricardo Cardona, recipients of the night’s Outstanding Service Awards, fed the night’s guests with food donated from top NYC restaurants. In addition, Cristian Rivera Foundation founder John “Gungie” Rivera presented Committee Members Tedsmooth and Kenya Bradix with the Cristian Rivera Humanitarian Award for their tireless efforts and dedication to the community. Both of them were very close to Cristian and were touched by the surprise honor. Rivera also presented a special posthumous honor to Ralph Mercado, Sr., who passed away from a brain tumor five weeks after Cristian Rivera lost his life to Pontine Glioma. Among those in attendance were Dangerous Minds actor Renoly Santiago, actor/singer Frankie Negron, Committee Member and rapper Jim Jones, legendary producer and Committee Member Little Louie Vega, Committee Member and former New York Knicks All Star Anthony Mason, Committee Member Funkmaster Flex, Committee Member J.I. Starr of La Mega, singer George Lamond, comedian Ruperto Vanderpool, Committee Member Mr. Olympia Victor Martinez, Committee Member and music producer Boy Wonder of Chosen Few, Committee Member DJ Camilo, singer Brenda K. Starr, singer O’Neill McKnight, Committee Member and film producer David Maldonado, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, and Former Bronx Borough President and Committee Member Fernando Ferrer.
The Cristian Rivera Foundation welcomed two new members to its Committee this month actor Luis Guzman and Celebrity Chef Alex Garcia. Guzman is a character actor from New York who has appeared in countless movies and television shows. Most recently, Guzman appeared in HBOs hit series How to Make it in America. He has also been seen on Oz, Law and Order, NYPD Blue and Walker, Texas Ranger, as well as in feature films like The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Carlito’s Way, Magnolia, Out of Sight, Boogie Nights, Punch Drunk Love, Traffic, Anger Management, and School for Scoundrels.
Garcia is a Nuevo Latino chef who has appeared on the Food Network and written cookbooks like 2004s In a Cuban Kitchen. Garcia attended the Culinary Institute of America and later worked alongside famed Nuevo Cuban chef Douglas Rodriguez for four years at Yuca restaurant in Miami. Garcia has been involved with many highly-respected New York restaurants, including Erizo Latino in Soho, Babalu, Patria, Calle Ocho and, most recently, Habana Room.