34th Annual Geraldo Rivera Golf Classic to Honor Lynne & Michael And The Koufakis Family
The 34th Annual Geraldo Rivera Golf Classic takes place at the Old Westbury Golf & Country Club, Long Island, NY, on Monday, May 16, 2022. Charity founder Vicki Schneps and the event’s host, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist Geraldo Rivera will kick off the golf classic with a brunch before the golfers tee off at noon. Honorees for this year’s event are Lynne & Michael Koufakis and the Koufakis Family of Star Automotive Group.
For decades, the groundbreaking Golf Classic and other high-profile events have helped bring hope and light to this once-marginalized population. The Life’s WORC team has been together since Geraldo’s critically acclaimed series exposing the deplorable conditions at the Willowbrook State School on Staten Island in January 1972, a half century ago.
Super-stars like John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Stevie Wonder, John Denver, and the Allman Brothers Band have all contributed with their talent and generosity. Like their concerts, charity boxing matches filled Madison Square Garden and brought thousands in celebration in Central Park. These events, including for the last 34 years the Geraldo Rivera Golf Classic, have raised millions and helped improve the lives of countless thousands.
The event begins with 10:00am registration, brunch at 10:30am, the golf tournament at 12:00 noon, followed by cocktails and dinner at 5:30pm. Donations to continue the noble work of Life’s WORC are always welcome. For more information, please visit https://lifesworc.org/event/golf/
About Geraldo Rivera: One of media’s most enduring broadcasters, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist Geraldo Rivera is the Fox News Correspondent-at-Large. A rotating co-host on “The Five,” Geraldo provides 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.
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.
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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.