Although Donna Panzarino had been to psychic programs in the past, they satisfied only a "general interest." She finds Kay's readings personally meaningful because they are "very specific."
Jim Panzarino had never met a psychic before and considered himself a skeptic before he met Kay. "If someone told me to go to a hotel and pay money to see a psychic, I woudln't have gone," he said. "I'm still leery about it. But I believe she's the real deal."
He said Kay gave him information about a dead uncle that turned out to be true. "They were family secrets I didn't even know."
Kay has "named names" of late members of Donna Panzarino's family. "She's very detailed, also gentle and never harsh," she said. "There's nothing scary. It's not the 'Hollywood-I-see-dead-bodies' kind of thing."
Not everyone is a believer, but there's no denying people like to explore the possibilities. Kay has been coming to Danbury for the past several years. In a phone interview, she said she's found "people (in Connecticut) are open-minded and there's a great interest."
Fran Kelly, a Poughkeepsie, N.Y., resident, went to one of Kay's galleries after overhearing a phone conversation between Panzarino and Kay earlier this year.
Kelly, a mental health clerk, and Panzarino were both working a night shift at a psychiatric hospital in Katonah, N.Y., Panzarino recalled. "I was talking to Lisa. It was a social call, around 10 o'clock, and she said to me, 'Who's Rose?' I asked Fran and she said, 'That's my mother.' Then Lisa asked me, 'Who's eating strawberries?' "
Kelly, whose mother had died the previous July, remembers, "Then Lisa (told Panzarino) to ask me why am I 'still wearing that red lipstick? You know I like your natural beauty.' That floored me. My mother hated when I wore dark lipstick."
While driving home that night, Kelly called her daughter to relay what had happened and mentioned the question about strawberries.
Her daughter said she'd taken a spoonful of strawberry ice cream from the freezer that evening while thinking, "I'm doing this for you, Grandma Rose."
"My mother liked strawberries," Kelly said. "It's really phenomenal. (Kay is) amazing. It's made a true believer of me."
Kay has donated her psychic services for charity. Last Dec. 6 she gave readings on air during the "Guy in the Sky" fundraiser for United Way of Northern Fairfield County on WRKI-I95 radio, one of the sponsors. She has also helped local volunteers raise money for a Bethel family with a medical crisis.
Although she did not give her age, Kay said she embraced her intuitive side "late in life," during her 30s. In college she majored in criminal justice. She was an intern for the New York City Police Department and later worked in retail.
She's always believed in an afterlife. "When people die, they don't leave. There is no goodbye. The loved ones are there, not in the Earthly world, but still there."
Her job, she said, is to facilitate messages from loved ones who have died to their friends and family. And while she doesn't actually see dead people, she said she can see and sense their energy.
"I don't see spirits. I tune in to a person's energy field. I get pictures in my mind, images, and wisps of light. I get messages and give them to those who are meant to receive them. They (the spirits) use me as a messenger to show us that they're still connected to us in our daily life, that the bonds of love continue."
Open readings will be offered at Friday night's gallery. Kay said previous events in Connecticut have drawn 40 to 200 people. "Whoever's meant to be there will be there," she said.
For information about Lisa Kay, visit www.LisaKMedium.com.