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

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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