What started off as a family fun night on a game show turned into a fundraiser for autism awareness.
John Miceli, the CAO of the Town of Amherstburg, appeared on Family Feud Canada Monday night with his wife, Rita, and three daughters, Lauren, Carolina and Maria. His 25-year-old son Giaci, who has autism, watched from home.
Rita has followed the game show since she was a child and saw her godparents appear on Family Feud in the United States. When Family Feud came to Canada last year, she jumped at the opportunity to apply. While the family could not compete last year due to prior commitments, they decided to reapply.
The Miceli family beat the Layne family and had the chance to win $10,000 in Fast Money. Eight points shy with one answer to go, the final question was “Name one of the Beatles” to which John answered, Paul McCartney, scoring 25 points.
John said the family plans to donate some of its winnings to the Windsor-Essex chapter of Autism Ontario, a charity it has supported for more than 20 years.
“In light of the COVID situation this year, we weren’t able to have our annual ‘Give Your Heart to Autism’ gala where we raise funds,” John said.
Money from the annual gala supports families of children with autism during the summer months, through one-on-one support or programs and camp.
It was just so surreal
While raising money for a good cause, the Miceli family also experienced the rush of being on national television.
“It was just so surreal,” said John. “One moment you’re in the green room and the next moment you’re on stage and they’re filming. It’s like you’re walking into the TV!”
However, the fun did not eliminate all the stress for the Micelis.
“You’re under an immense amount of pressure as they start asking you the questions,” John said. “When you’re watching it from home it’s so easy to answer the question, but when you’re there and they ask you the question, it’s not that easy.”
Nevertheless, John said his son thoroughly enjoyed seeing his family appear on CBC.
“He had a laugh watching everybody,” he said.