Tag Archives: Geraldo Rivera

Geraldo Rivera wins big for Life’s WORC as ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ finalist


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by David Giesbrecht/NBC

Geraldo Rivera may not have earned the title of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” but he won big for his cause — Life’s WORC.

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.

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Geraldo Rivera makes it to ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ finale


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

And then there were two.

Geraldo Rivera has made it to the finale of the seventh installment of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” where he’s won more than $700,000 for his charity, local nonprofit Life’s WORC.

It’s no surprise that the Fox News host is one of the final two, along with TV host Leeza Gibbons. Early on, he won big bucks for Life’s WORC — on the Jan. 12 episode as team leader Rivera raised $294,780, adding to hundred of thousands he had already earned for his charity.

Established 44 years ago by The Queens Courier newspaper 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 is hoping to raise even more money for Life’s WORC and win the reality competition show on Feb. 16. The one left standing during that night’s live finale of “Celebrity Apprentice” will get a $250,000 bonus check to their designated charity.

The Feb. 9 episode — called “Then There Were Two” — kicked off with the narrowing down to the final contestants. Gibbons and Rivera were then give their last challenge — to produce a commercial and sell vacation packages for Universal Orlando Resort.

Fans will need to watch the two-hour finale to see them complete the challenge and present their commercial at a red carpet event in New York City. Trump will then fire one and declare the other the winner live.

Whether or not Rivera wins, Life’s WORC appreciates the money he has raised for the agency, which is planning a 10,000-square-foot building for its Family Center for Autism that is opening this spring, and the national recognition the show has given them.

Part of that recognition will include a short promotional video on Life’s WORC that will highlight the nonprofit and feature Courier publisher Victoria Schneps. The video is slated to air on the show’s final episode.

The Celebrity Apprentice” finale will air on Monday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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Life’s WORC thanks Geraldo Rivera with Times Square billboard as he continues to survive on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Alex Coroneos

Geraldo Rivera has made it through five episodes of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” where he has raised more than $700,000 for Life’s WORC. And the nonprofit is thanking him on an enormous billboard hanging above Times Square.

The electronic billboard, which is currently running at Broadway and 47th Street , is telling people to watch Rivera as he raises money for his charity Life’s WORC on the reality TV competition show.

The shoutout is thanks to Life’s WORC Executive Board Member at Large Rick Del Mastro who owns the billboard, according to the agency’s Assistant Executive Director of Development and Public Affairs Matt Zebatto.

“It’s a significant amount of money [that Rivera has won] and it’s giving us national recognition,” Zebatto said.

Established 44 years ago by The Queens Courier publisher Victoria Schneps with help from Rivera, Life’s WORC, which is based in Garden City, provides services to some 1,400 people with developmental disabilities in eastern Queens, Nassau County and western Suffolk.

Since Rivera has raised $740,000 for Life’s WORC through “Celebrity Apprentice” so far, Del Mastro and the agency wanted to show their appreciation.

“How did you do this?” a thankful Rivera said upon learning about the billboard.

Photo courtesy of Life's WORC

Photo courtesy of Life’s WORC

They are also planning on using the billboard soon to thank individual donors, who have given money during fundraising challenges on the show.

On the Jan. 12 episode, where as team leader Rivera raised $294,780, one donor wrote him a $99,999 check.

Life’s WORC hopes Rivera’s appearance on “Celebrity Apprentice” not only gives the agency national recognition, but also gives it “some breathing room in its budgeting and finances since New York State has been economizing, reducing funds available in the developmental disabilities field,” said Janet Koch, Life’s WORC executive director.

The nonprofit is opening a 10,000-square-foot Family Center for Autism next to its Garden City headquarters this April, which will have 60 programs for autistic children and their families, according to Zebatto.

“Geraldo’s winnings will enable Life’s WORC to serve more people in its Family Center for Autism,” Schneps said. “Our new building will forever be a center of excellence with superbly qualified staff to provide desperately needed programs.”

The Celebrity Apprentice,” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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Geraldo Rivera continues to win for Life’s WORC on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Douglas Gorenstein/NBC

Geraldo Rivera raised more money for Life’s WORC during the latest episode of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” winning almost $300,000 as a team leader.

The broadcast journalist’s team, Vortex, won two challenges during the Jan. 12 episode of the NBC reality competition show.

After the men’s and women’s teams competed against each other to create a four-page fitness advertorial for Cosmopolitan magazine, host and judge Donald Trump switched up the teams.

Rivera, as a project manager for the new Vortex, had a chance to win money for his cause during a fundraising challenge where the contestants had to open a bridal boutique.

Both teams raised an impressive amount of money, totaling almost $600,000, with a $2,500 difference between the two. Before finding out who won, Rivera and the other team leader, Ian Ziering, decided to each keep their own team winnings, rather than having the winning team leader take all the money.

“If the money was going to Ian, I would roll the dice,” Geraldo said, adding that since the money is for Ian’s charity, “It would be a reckless ego play for me to go for the whole thing, even though I am confident that we won.”

Though they decided to keep their own winnings, Vortex defeated Infinity by totaling $294,780 to their opponent’s $292,547.

On the show, each celebrity contestant has the opportunity to compete for the charitable organization they choose. Before the Jan. 12 episode, Rivera had earned nearly $280,000 for Life’s WORC.

Established 44 years ago by The Queens Courier newspaper 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, known for his advocacy of the developmentally disabled community from the time when he worked as an investigative reporter at WABC-TV Channel 7, has demonstrated loyal, steadfast support for Life’s WORC throughout his career.

Life’s WORC founder and board member Victoria Schneps urges everyone in the developmentally disabled and autistic communities to watch future installments of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” airing Mondays at 8 p.m.

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Geraldo Rivera makes Life’s WORC his cause on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Victoria Schneps

As NBC’s latest installment of “Celebrity Apprentice” kicked off on Sunday, Jan. 4, the stars appeared to be lining up in favor of local nonprofit Life’s WORC.

Established 44 years ago by The Queens Courier newspaper publisher Victoria Schneps with help from broadcast journalist icon Geraldo 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.

Geraldo Rivera, known for his advocacy of the developmentally disabled community from the time when he worked as an investigative reporter at WABC-TV Channel 7, has demonstrated loyal, steadfast support for Life’s WORC throughout his career.

“Geraldo attends many of the organization’s fundraisers including an annual golf tournament he personally spearheads. He never fails to talk up the agency and impress upon many of the movers and shakers he encounters the importance of Life’s WORC,” said Janet Koch, the agency’s executive director. “We were so gratified when we discovered that Geraldo had designated Life’s WORC as his beneficiary in host Donald Trump’s famous challenge. Everyone associated with Life’s WORC is excited by the prospects here because this show is known for providing millions of dollars in contributions to a number of nonprofit organizations.”

Each celebrity contestant has the opportunity to compete for the charitable organization they choose. Geraldo’s passion for Life’s WORC was on full display as he led all of the celebrities by generating more contributions through his pie store enterprise. Vortex, the entrepreneur project created by the male team, raised $185,322 on the first night of the show. Therefore, Geraldo has earned $280,000 for Life’s WORC so far, and who knows how much more Geraldo will raise in the upcoming episodes!

Life’s WORC founder and board member Victoria Schneps urges everyone in the developmentally disabled and autistic communities to watch future installments of “Celebrity Apprentice.”

“Since Geraldo is here for us once again, we need to rally our spirit for our hero by posting expressions of gratitude and comments to encourage him through the show’s website,” Schneps said.

This $280,000 windfall based on Geraldo’s leadership comes at a key period for the agency, according to Janet Koch. “This enables Life’s WORC to gain some breathing room in its budgeting and finances since New York State has been economizing, reducing funds available in the developmental disabilities field.”

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Courier publisher to appear on Geraldo’s radio show


| brennison@queenscourier.com

The publisher of The Queens Courier, Victoria Schneps-Yunis, will join Geraldo Rivera’s radio program on January 6 to discuss the 40th anniversary of his reports on the deplorable conditions for the children at the Willowbrook State School.

It was in 1971 that Schneps, along with members of WORC, the Working Organization for Retarded Children, picketed the school to fight for the rights of Schneps’ daughter Lara and the 5,400 residents at Willowbrook, a Staten Island school for mentally disabled children.

The story took off when Rivera, then a reporter for ABC television, reported on the neglect the children at Willowbrook faced.

Tune in to WABC 770 Friday between 10 a.m. and noon to hear Schneps and Rivera recount the horrors at the school and the work they did to create a better life for the children.