Opening Day and Partnership with Cristian Rivera Foundation

Fort Lee Adult CO-ED Softball League is Fort Lee’s only adult softball league. Bergen County residents are welcome.

Fort Lee, NJ – May 3, 2023 – The Fort Lee Adult CO-ED Softball League invites Bergen County residents and local businesses to join them for their Opening Day Ceremony on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at Constitution Park in Fort Lee, New Jersey on Linwood Avenue.

This exciting event will mark the start of the 2023 softball season and aims to boost community engagement, support local businesses, and raise funds for the Cristian Rivera Foundation.

The opening ceremony will commence at 12:30 pm, featuring a procession by the Fort Lee Police Color Guard and a performance of the National Anthem by local talent Noelle Dadon. The league will then present a donation of $500 to special guest John “Gungie” Rivera, the founder and director of the Cristian Rivera Foundation.

“John has and continues to work tirelessly every day and night to find a cure for DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma) and save the lives of children,” says Maxim Almenas, League Director and a childhood friend of Rivera. “John is always moving mountains to find a cure for these children. His foundation is already refining medical research and public awareness of DIPG for future generations.”

The Cristian Rivera Foundation (CRF), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Edgewater, NJ, was established in 2009 in memory of John Rivera’s son, Cristian, who lost his battle with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). DIPG is a type of brain tumor that occurs in the pons region of the brainstem, which controls many critical bodily functions such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. DIPG is an aggressive and deadly cancer, mainly affecting children aged 5 to 9, but it can occur in children and young adults of all ages.

The CRF foundation has raised millions of dollars to fund clinical trials conducted by Dr. Mark Souweidane at Weill Cornell Medical Center and genetic research by Dr. Oren Becher at Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital. The foundation provides support, information, and financial assistance to families affected by DIPG.

John Gungie Rivera and Jesselyn Silva during the 5th Annual CRF Full Steam Ahead 5K in Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, NY, in 2022.

In addition to a world-class medical team to help find a cure, Rivera, a veteran entertainment mogul who started his career as a DJ, also became one of the most sought-after nightclub promoters in New York City history.

As a well-respected music industry executive, he produced several hits and eventually landed his own recording label, “Prestigio”, under the Sony Discos umbrella and became one of the largest concert promoters in the Latin and urban genres in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Japan. Despite all the success and accolades that “Gungie” has achieved, his most rewarding achievement is to give back to the community and youth.

Rivera now uses his “star power” to find a cure for DIPG by producing annual fundraising events, including the 6th Annual CRF Full Steam Ahead 5K, the 7th Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Flashback Boat Ride, and the 14th Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Celebrity Gala, which demonstrates Rivera’s influence in the entertainment industry.

Attendees included Award-winning journalist Darlene Rodriguez, co-anchor of Today in New York, Hollywood film and television actor Luis Guzman from the hit Netflix series Wednesday, and world-renowned actor/comedian Kenan Thompson from Saturday Night Live, the television series Kenan, and several iconic comedy films. All three are just some of the all-star committee members that consist of the CRF Foundation dedicated to curing DIPG.

“I’m blessed to have the love and support of many well-known entertainers, but the real stars are the kids fighting DIPG, like Jesselyn (Silva) who was ranked the number one female boxer in the nation over two years until her DIPG diagnosis made it difficult for her to train,” said Rivera of Silva, a Bergenfield, NJ resident who is currently recovering from radiation treatments. “I’m fighting for her, and every DIPG family. No parent should suffer this loss. As my son Cristian always said, ‘Love you 10.’”

Participants and sponsors can join the league by signing up at New members can use the code PLAYBALL30 to receive a 30% discount on one-season or three-season memberships until May 8th. Those who register for the 2023 season will also be entered for a chance to win four luxury NY Yankees home game tickets.

Local businesses are encouraged to join the Business League Sponsor program, which offers cutting-edge AI-driven social media, video, and digital marketing to increase customer reach and drive traffic to online and physical locations. The league is open to adults aged 21 and up and is perfect for beginners, providing a fun and competitive environment with free caps, jerseys, and refreshments. Watch the game live streams and the latest videos here:

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to make a positive impact in the community through sports, sponsorship, and charity. To learn more about the Fort Lee Adult CO-ED Softball League, visit

To learn more about CRF, or to attend the 6th Annual CRF Full Steam Ahead 5K, the 7th Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Flashback Boat Ride, and the 14th Annual Cristian Rivera Foundation Celebrity Gala, or to make a donation, go to

Thank you in advance for your support and generosity. 


Maxim Almenas

League Director




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