Professional bodybuilder “Mr. Olympia” Victor Martinez, a committee member of the Cristian Rivera Foundation, announced that his upcoming appearance at the Arnold Sports Festival will be dedicated to Cristian Rivera, as well as the foundation that shares his name. Martinez knew Cristian before he passed away from pediatric brain stem tumor in 2009 and visited him in the hospital during his final days. “It was heartbreaking to see Cristian in his last moments,” said Martinez, “but I was happy to be there for his father, John ‘Gungie’ Rivera, during his toughest times.” Martinez will compete in the bodybuilding portion of the Arnold Sports Festival on Saturday March 1 in Columbus, Ohio. The multi-disciplinary event lasts from Friday February 28 through Sunday March 2 and features a variety of sporting events, including boxing, mixed martial arts and hockey, to name a few. “The Cristian Rivera Foundation has come a long way and I know that often you start something and it eventually fades away, so this is my way to shine a light again on this great cause,” said Martinez.
Chart-topping artists Victor Manuelle and Elvis Crespo came out to support the Cristian Rivera Foundation at Lehman Center’s La Invasion Del Amor on Saturday, February 12, from which a portion of the proceeds were donated to the benefit of the Foundation. Emceed by La Mega’s J.I. Starr, a Cristian Rivera Foundation committee member, the concert was non-stop fun and dancing for the crowd of salsa and meringue enthusiasts, with performances from Manuelle and Crespo—who wore their Cristian Rivera Foundation wristbands on stage—as well as N’Klabe, Zon de D’Tambora, Ivan La Voz, and Our Latin Thing, who paid tribute to Fania All Stars. The near-capacity crowd included celebrity guests like singer Brenda K. Starr and some of J.I.’s fellow committee members: model/actress/TV personality Stephanie Carrera, Solange Osorio, Steve Cox and actor Luis Guzman, who also wore his Cristian Rivera Foundation t-shirt on the red carpet.