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.