John “Gungie” Rivera Among Honorees at
the 8th Annual BORIMIX: Puerto Rico Fest


The Society of the Educational Arts (SEA) is hosting the 8th Annual BORIMIX: Puerto Rico Fest, a celebration of Puerto Rican heritage, arts and culture. The free event kicks off with the 2013 Buildinguai Arts Celebration on Thursday November 14 at The Clemente on 107 Suffolk Street in Manhattan. That night, BORIMIX will debut two art exhibits—Posters on the Wall: Our Nuyorican Story, which illustrates the rich and diverse work of Puerto Rican artists, and Mural Grooves, which includes five indoor murals that commemorates the life and work of Puerto Rican music composer Rafael Hernández—as well as feature musical performances from Nico y su Combo, Sery Colón and Afro Brazil Arts. The night will also include the BORIMIX Awards Ceremony, which spotlights leaders in the Puerto Rican community. Included among this year’s recipients is John ”Gungie“ Rivera, who is accepting the award for his amazing and inspiring with the Cristian Rivera Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that has raised more than $400,000 to help fund research into curing a rare pediatric brainstem tumor called DIPG.

The Cristian Rivera Foundation Raises $10,000
with Successful Theater Event


The Cristian Rivera Foundation hosted a successful charity performance of award-winning bilingual musical DC-7, The Roberto Clemente Story on Thursday, March 22. The event, which included a two-hour red carpet event catered by Celebrity Chef and Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee Member Alex Garcia, the executive chef at Babalu Restaurant and Lounge in the Bronx, raised $10,000 toward Dr. Mark Souweidane’s pioneering clinical trials aimed at finding a cure for DIPG. Dr. Souweidane attended the performance and as he accepted the check live on stage from Cristian Rivera Foundation founder John “Gungie” Rivera and all of the committee members in attendance, he announced that his team is within weeks of treating the first patient. Among the night’s high-profile attendees were The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Danielle Staub and Cristian Rivera Foundation Committee Members sportscaster and humanitarian Roberto Clemente Jr., founder of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre Miriam Colon, businessman Elis Pacheco, founder and president of Metropolitan Recording Corporation Jerry Salerno, DJ Tedsmooth, music producer Aldo Marin, Red Entertainment Group founder Carlos Keyes, businessman Jeff Lavino, David Letterman Show staffer Karen Cerna, real estate agent Fulvia Lora, Bronx Base Builders founder William Padilla, information technology manager Steve Cox, X-Interactive Media founder Carlos Colon, philanthropist Dolores Catania.

Support the Cristian Rivera Foundation at the 4th Annual Walk for Health Walk-a-Thon


Time to bust out those walking shoes …the 4th Annual Walk for Health Walk-a-Thon PONTE-EN-FORMA is coming to Roberto Clemente State Park on Sunday April 17th from 10am-2pm. Every year, event sponsors the Diversity Foundation and The National Puerto Rican Parade choose charitable causes important to the community to benefit from the money raised. This year, they’e chosen the Cristian Rivera Foundation. As if that wasn’t enough of a reason to sign up, the Cristian Rivera Foundation also offers a series of walk-a-thon packages including signature foundation wristbands and t-shirts, as well as $25 gift certificates to Hudson River Café and Havana Café.

Walk-A-Thon Registration

Click here to see all of the available packages and to register for this five-mile walk. It’s a great workout for a great cause with some great gifts, so sign up today and we’ll see you there! Even if you can’t make it, you can still donate to the Cristian Rivera Foundation.

For more information, call 212-779-2222.

Hanging Tough:
A Family Calamity Hits Puerto Rican Nightlife Impresario By Brian Niemietz

Life’s a party for John Gungie” Rivera. Or so it might seem. A fixture on the New York City club and music scene for more than a quarter century, Gungie – a nickname his dad gave him based on the first word the boy spoke – has been there, done that, then gone back and done it all again.

Nine months ago, however, the fast-moving party promoter was stopped dead in his tracks when his younger son, Cristian, 4, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. “At that time,” Gungie says, “doctors at Sloan-Kettering gave him 6-18 months to live.”

“In the beginning we did the traditional chemotherapy and radiation. Then they ruled out the chemotherapy. It had no good effects on this type of tumor,” Gungie recalls. “I looked to alternative drugs. I had him on Rhudisix Z and calcium phosphate. A doctor in India recommended it to me.”

When he personally isn’t looking for cures, Gungie says he constantly has someone on staff or at home exploring medical options. “They don’t really have any cases where anyone’s survived,” he soberly admits.

But he remains resilient. “There’s always alternative cures to everything out there – maybe in China, Poland, who knows? I’m hoping to keep him alive long enough to find the miracle treatment or miracle drug that will cure him.”

As a 15-year-old DJ playing at Sweet 16s and private parties during the Boogie Down Bronx era, Gungie was in the right place at the right time as hip-hop grew from a local trend to a certified international phenomenon. By 17, he was spinning at massive outdoor concerts for radio station Hot 97, where he formed working relationships with super-DJs-turned-producers Little Louie Vega and David Morales. Nowadays, Gungie finds himself hanging out at high-traffic nightspots like Guest House and Duvet five nights a week, where he promotes weekly bashes. Gungie has also promoted events for Marc Anthony, Run-D.M.C., Fat Joe and Tito Puente. Just a few weeks ago, his company Victory2 Multimedia hyped a Daddy Yankee show that packed Madison Square Garden to the rafters.

While Gungie’s made a career out of being the life of the party, showing people a good time is literally a life-and-death situation now. “It definitely prohibits me from being happy,” he concedes. How can I be at an event having a good time with that on my mind? We’re all human. We get caught up in the moment and forget this is reality.Then we catch ourselves again. I never give up hope.”

Well-wishers and party people wanting to help a good cause (and have some fun at the same time) can visit Gungie-promoted nights this fall at Chelsea clubs including Sol, Myst, Guest House, Duvet, and Spy Nightclub.

There’s no promise this story will have a happy ending, but if it doesn’t, it won’t be from a lack of trying. One thing’s for sure – when Cristian celebrates his next birthday, and hopefully many after that, the parties will be second to none.