Gala Cruise In Honor of Geraldo Rivera A Great Success

The sold out Opengate Gala honoring Geraldo Rivera and the 40th Anniversary of his Willowbrook Exposé was enhanced by the sparkling backdrop of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.  We were thrilled by the inaugural showing of our video and the warm introduction of our honoree by none other than Fox News Channel Founder and CEO, Roger Ailes.

Aboard the Royal Princess at Chelsea Piers in New York City.  (Photo/Douglas Healey)

Roger & Beth Ailes watch the Opengate video with Geraldo & Erica Rivera

More than 160 guests came to honor Geraldo and the work he has done as a journalist and as a constant advocate for the developmentally disabled. Roger Ailes spoke movingly of Mr. Rivera’s ethics and compassion.   Mr. Rivera was greeted with a standing ovation by the crowd which featured many of his friends and colleagues along with representatives of the Opengate community. The genuine affection and respect for Geraldo were palpable.

It was the premiere viewing of Opengate’s promotional video produced by Superfad.  The arc of the video highlights how far the rights of the developmentally disabled have come in the 40 years since Geraldo produced the Willowbrook Exposé. In it he states that he sees the reporting as being central to his role as a journalist and that, “it is the finest example of the media becoming part of the process of positive social change.”

Music was provided by the Doug Ferony Orchestra, lending a lush musical background for the spectacular sights surrounding the Royal Princess as she cruised New York Harbor giving all the attendees ample views of the skyline, Lady Liberty and Ellis Island.  Our silent Auction, Chaired by Ethlyn Honig, contributed to the fundraising success of the evening.

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