Just the ticket: Cynthia is charity champion
Cynthia Liburd's love of charity came with a special talent for picking the winning ticket.
“I've been doing it for years — I just enjoy it,” Ms Liburd said of her dedication to raffles for registered charities.
According to her family, Ms Liburd's disability, which makes her unable to work, has left her a formidable force for fundraising.
“Because she can't work, she gets blessed by raffles,” said her sister, Linda Philpott.
Not only will Ms Liburd go out and raffle for virtually any charitable cause that comes her way, she has an uncanny talent for choosing the right ticket.
Nieces and nephews have come to rely on her not just for helping with school raffles, but for picking the winner for her friends and family.
Over the years, her contributions have been recognised in diverse ways: the Church of Christ on Brighton Hill, which she faithfully attends, saluted her in 1993 for overcoming great odds.
The Friendship Award from the Physical Abuse Centre was bestowed on her in 1999 by then Governor Thorold Masefield, after 20 years of service.
Shirley Mullan of the charity YouthNet commended her for “a fantastic job” in her raffles for the group — and just recently Ms Philpott had her sister to thank for supporting her through an arduous Middle-to-End, in which she raised $2,000 for charities.
“I wouldn't have raised it without her,” Ms Philpott said.
Ms Liburd's causes are diverse: she has been a stalwart supporter of the Bermuda Industrial Union's fundraisers, and gladly pitches in for causes from the Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, to benefits for charities such as the Learning Centre, the Coalition for the Protection of Children. She also raises funds through pledges for her walks.
Her family told The Royal Gazette they wanted to celebrate her work after Ms Liburd's feelings were hurt after comments appeared on social media suggesting that she kept the money.
“I am very honest,” she said. “It's not true — I do right.”
And when she joins in raffles or other games, Ms Liburd's luck precedes her. Over the years she has won cruises, hotel stays, and various prizes ranging from turkeys to a bike and a television set.
Events such as the Mount Saint Agnes fair are faithfully attended, Ms Philpott recounted: “You can hear people say ‘here she comes — the lucky girl who always wins'.”
For that reason, the people close to her are happy to have her pick on their behalf — and Ms Liburd is happy to oblige.
“I have made a lot of friends,” she said, “and they will always ask me to raise money for them.”