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CARD-USF's Fiesta By-the-Bay Fundraiser Gets Surprise $25,000 Gift from Long-time CARD Champion

Fiesta Donation

Over 200 people enjoyed the Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD) at USF's annual Fiesta By the Bay fundraising event held October 7 at the Glazer Children’s Museum, where a surprise $25,000 gift was presented from an anonymous long-time CARD Champion. Museum activities, dancing, food and an auction rounded out the evening's festivities. 

“After hosting virtual events for the past few years due to the Pandemic, we were thrilled to have everyone together again at the museum,” said Christine Rover, Assistant Program Director of Community Services for CARD-USF. "It was very apparent that the attendees were enjoying themselves immensely, so glad to be reunited in person. The surprise gift from a special CARD Champion made the evening even more special."

Proceeds from the event support the free programs and projects offered throughout the year by CARD-USF across 14 counties. Funded by the Florida Legislature through the Florida Department of Education, CARD-USF provides communities, organizations, agencies, service providers and families with the knowledge and skills to support children and adults with autism and related disabilities. Support is also provided to early intervention, schools, employers, and colleges and universities.  

"We at CARD-USF are always looking to meet the needs of our communities,” said Beth Boone, PhD, BCBA, CARD-USF’s Executive Director. “With the continuing rise in new autism diagnoses, as well as specific challenges identified across the entire lifespan, there is a disparity between the services CARD has been mandated and funded to provide and the work that needs to be done. CARD therefore relies on private support for a variety of services and programs not covered by state funding. Now, more than ever, we need help from our CARD CHAMPIONS, such as the generous donor of this $25,000, as it will enhance our efforts to provide individuals on the spectrum, and their families, the support they need."

“I believe that those who can, should.  This is my philosophy about philanthropy," said the anonymous CARD Champion. "I want my money to make a difference for people who are in need. Supporting programs that deliver high quality expertise by knowledgeable professionals that have an impact on the lives of those served is of the utmost importance to me. CARD-USF has demonstrated their pivotal role and leadership in designing and delivering services to over 20,000 individuals with autism for the past 30 years. It is my hope others will join me in making donations to CARD-USF, knowing that every dollar donated is used to benefit families, educators and other professionals within the communities served.”

For additional information about CARD, visit Donations are accepted through CARD’s Autism Services Fund at the USF Foundation,

Fiesta by the Bay

Beth Boone, PhD, BCBA, CARD-USF’s Executive Director welcomes the 2022 Fiesta attendees.


Many items were available during the auction.


Christine Rover, Assistant Program Director of Community Services for CARD-USF mingles with the guests.