NewsHillsborough County


Riverview woman raises money for 'Autism Speaks' with virtual bingo

Posted at 4:01 PM, Jun 29, 2020

RIVERVIEW, Fla. — Every month a different employee at GTE Financial in Tampa chooses a charity to raise money for. However, as these employees have discovered, fundraisers can be challenging during a pandemic.

It looks and sounds like ordinary bingo at Lisa Cathy’s Riverview house, but every time a game is played more than $100 is being raised for an organization dear to Cathy’s heart, Autism Speaks.

“When we received the diagnosis I had no idea what to do,” said Cathy.

Her six-year-old son Mason is on the autism spectrum.

“I think with any kind of diagnosis for parents it comes with a lot of information and sometimes it’s very difficult to sort that out and for me, that’s where Autism Speaks really came in,” said Cathy.

So when she had the opportunity to raise money for the charity throughout the month of June she immediately started planning fundraisers, but there was one problem, COVID-19.

“I set a hefty goal of raising $10,000 this month and we had a whirlwind of changing fundraising activities,” said Cathy.

Then through the help of her older son, eight-year-old Billy, they came up with the idea of virtual bingo. It was fun, safe, and $20 a card can go a long way.

“I made a commitment that I was going to raise this money and get to my goal and I’m not going to let anything stand in my way,” said Cathy.

She said raising a child with autism has inspired her to overcome any challenge, even a pandemic.

“I think with any child with a disability parents come with that unique ability to roll with the punches and figure it out,” said Cathy.