Photo credits: Diane Cohen, Schneps Media
Life’s WORC supporters congregated at the Quogue home of Schneps Media’s Victoria Schneps to honor Geraldo Rivera with the Life’s WORC Medal of Honor. Among the well-wishers Bill O’Reilly, John Catsamatidis and Victoria Schneps gave speeches recognizing Geraldo’s efforts and support which has helped to grow the organization into the powerhouse charity it is today serving the needs of Intellectual and Development Disabilities (IDD).
Bill O’Reilly and Victoria Schneps also received medal of Honor awards from Life’s WORC at the Soiree.
Notable attendees included: Geraldo Rivera, Erica Rivera, Bill O’Reilly, Victoria Schneps, John Catsimatidis, Margo Catsimatidis, Julie Ratner, Dede Gotthelf, Terry Moan, Jean Shafiroff, Bill Boggs, Mitch Modell, Westhampton Beach Mayor Maria Moore, NYS State Assembly Member and Chair for People with Disabilities Committee Rebecca Seawright, Dan Rattiner, andMarvin Scott.
About Geraldo Rivera:
One of media’s most enduring broadcasters, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist Geraldo Rivera began his 51-year career as a television reporter at WABC-TV in New York where he presented the historic series exposing the deplorable conditions at the Willowbrook State School for People with Developmental Disabilities for the population then described as mentally challenged.
These powerful reports are credited with ending America’s policy of institutionalizing the developmentally disabled, leading to government investigations, institutions across the nation being eventually shut down and the civilized world adopting small, community-based housing as the alternative. The subsequent sea change in the treatment of the mentally disabled is considered by Geraldo to be his most important life’s work.
The winner of the 2000 Robert F. Kennedy journalism award for his NBC News documentary on “Women in Prison,” his third, and the Scripps Howard Foundation national journalism award for “Back to Bedlam,” Rivera has received several hundred awards for journalism, and community service including the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, three national and seven local Emmys, two Columbia-DuPont and two additional Scripps Howard Journalism Awards.
Prior to joining Fox News, Rivera, an attorney, covered the globe for ABC News; hosted a widely viewed series of syndicated specials, including the highest rated in history, “The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vault.” His eponymous talk show ran for eleven successful seasons. He later hosted CNBC’s number-one rated show, “Rivera Live,” where his critically acclaimed coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial verdicts and the Clinton Impeachment set all-time CNBC ratings records. Geraldo was the Fox News Correspondent-at-Large. A rotating co-host on “The Five,” Geraldo provided regular reports and commentary on FNC’s “Fox and Friends,” “Hannity,” and various programs on Fox News and Fox Nation. Geraldo joined the network in 2001 as a war correspondent following the 9/11 attacks on his New York hometown. From 2001 until 2012 Geraldo reported from every hot spot on earth, including eleven assignments in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Follow Geraldo @GeraldoRivera
About Life’s WORC:
In 1971, Victoria Schneps-Yunis founded Life’s WORC, originally the Women’s Organization For Retarded Children, with women in her Bayside neighborhood. They volunteered and helped raise money for the people at the Willowbrook State School. Victoria’s activism was inspired by her daughter Lara who was brain damaged after her birth.
In 1972, after severe budget cuts by Governor Rockefeller, reporter Geraldo Rivera revealed the atrocious living conditions at the Staten Island-based Willowbrook State School, which was the country’s largest institution serving people with developmental disabilities and autism. The story helped gain national media attention, which led to the school’s ultimate closing, forced on the state by parents winning a Federal Class Action lawsuit.
Life’s WORC went on to purchase the first group home for children in New York State in Little Neck, Queens. The first residents were young people who previously lived at Willowbrook and some who came from their homes.
The organization has continued to grow in New York City, as well as Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island.
Life’s WORC also runs Day Habilitation Programs, the Family Center For Autism (FCA), and the newly created Job Training Center for People with Special Needs.
Life’s WORC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. lifesworc.org
PRESS CONTACT (Geraldo Rivera):
Norah Lawlor | Lawlor Media Group | www.lawlormediagroup.com
Norah@lawlormediagroup.com | Tel: (212) 967-6900
I: @lawlormedia | F: LawlorMediaGroup | T: @LawlorMedia
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