The Fox News host and TV broadcast veteran made it to the finale of the reality competition show on Feb. 17, where he competed against TV host Leeza Gibbons for the title of “Celebrity Apprentice” and a $250,000 bonus check for their designated charities.
Rivera was a fierce competitor, winning hundreds of thousands for his charity and several challenges as team leader.
“Geraldo, you’re tough, you’re smart, you’re brilliant in so many different ways. You’ve done such an amazing job in raising so much money for your charity. It’s really an honor to have worked with you for this period of time. And I think you’ve shown the world what kind of a guy you really are — really special,” Donald Trump said before ultimately naming Gibbons the winner during the live finale.
The two-hour episode showed the conclusion of the final challenge, where Rivera and Gibbons each had to produce a commercial for Universal Orlando Resort and present it at a red carpet event in New York City. Gibbons won that challenge, earning nearly double the amount than Rivera for her cause, but Rivera managed to rake in roughly another $150,000 from donors to help Life’s WORC. In total, he’s raised $725,000 for the nonprofit through the show, the most of any contestant going into the finals.
Established 44 years ago by The Queens Courier publisher Victoria Schneps with help from Rivera, Life’s WORC provides services to some 1,400 people with developmental disabilities in eastern Queens, Nassau County and western Suffolk. The agency is based in Garden City.
Rivera’s time on the show not only helped Life’s WORC financially, but also gave the agency national recognition.
The finale featured a video with Rivera and its founder Schneps, showing the national audience the work the agency does at the Garden City headquarters.
Life’s WORC is planning a 10,000-square-foot building for its Family Center for Autism that is opening this spring, and the “Celebrity Apprentice” money will go a long way toward opening the center.