Numerous benefits pop up in wake of shootings

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 25, 2012



LAPLACE – As the St. John the Baptist Parish community continues to mourn the loss of Sheriff’s Deputies Brandon Nielsen and Jeremy Triche and pray for the recovery of injured Deputies Michael Scott Boyington and Jason Triche, many residents and business owners in the region have organized assorted fundraisers to aid the deputies’ families.

One such event kicks off today, as local Avon representatives will be conducting a unique dual donation event at the LaPlace Wal-Mart.

Residents will have the chance to purchase stuffed teddy bears, which will then be donated to St. John Parish emergency services, including the Fire Department, the Sheriff’s Office and Acadian Ambulance. The bears are given to families with young children who fall victim to fires and other tragedies where loss of property occurs.

The bears are $20, with $10 of the purchase going to the accounts set up at Louisiana Federal Credit Union for the deputies and their families. Avon representatives will be on hand at Wal-Mart from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Starting next week, Roussel’s Fine Jewelry and Gifts will be raffling off a one-of-a-kind pendant designed in memory of the fallen officers.

Roussel’s jewelry designer Earl Rodrigue Jr. said the piece, valued at about $2,000, will be on display at the LaPlace store as soon as it is completed.

“The pendant is a fleur de lis surrounded by a karat of diamonds with two sapphires at the top for the two officers,” Rodrigue said.

Rodrigue said raffle tickets will be $5, and 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the families of all four deputies. Tickets can be purchased at Roussel’s locations in LaPlace, Gramercy and Boutte. The drawing is set for late October.

“We are doing what we do best to help those families,” Rodrigue said. “The final design included input from all of our employees.”

Also next week, the St. John Sheriff’s Office will be continuing a fundraiser that kicked off at Friday’s East St. John High School football jamboree. Blue wristbands for the fallen officers are being sold for $3 apiece with all proceeds benefiting the deputies’ families.

Wayne Vicknair, who helped organize the fundraiser, said about 1,000 bands were sold Friday and another order is being placed Monday for more bands. The bands can be purchased at the Sheriff’s Office or by emailing Vicknair at

St. Charles Parish resident Stephanie Parria, a Chevron Pipeline employee and local painter, is trying to organize a raffle of her own. Parria said she is finishing off a pair of 30-inch by 48-inch paintings of the Mercedes Benz Superdome when it was lit up in blue last week in honor of the fallen deputies.

“The only difference is that where there would normally be the Mercedes logo, I am painting an image of the St. John Sheriff’s badge,” Parria said. “One painting will be raffled off, and the other will be donated to the Sheriff’s Office.”

Parria said raffle chances will be $5 each, and all of the proceeds will be split evenly among the deputies’ families. For more information contact Parria at 985-258-7553, or email her at hunter

Throughout the month of September, LaPlace resident Anne Hooter of Helping Hands Massage said she will be donating 50 percent of the proceeds from every massage she performs. She said each deputy will get their own week.

“Sep. 3-7 will be for Jeremy Triche, Sep. 10-14 will be for Brandon Nielsen, Sep. 17-21 will be for Michael Boyington and Sep. 24-28 will be for Jason Triche,” Hooter said. “My heart is so broken for the families of our deputies and I wanted to help them through this.”

Hooter can be reached at 504-251-8603, or at

Covington resident Jessica Royal, who manufactures decals and personalized gifts and sells them from a Facebook page, has created a car decal called “Believe in Heroes.” The decal is a blue fleur de lis with a black stripe across the middle.

Something about this story just got to me,” Royal said. “I wanted to do anything I could to help these families.”

The decals are $5 each, and $3 of the purchase will be donated to the accounts set up at Louisiana Federal Credit Union. For more information visit www.

In addition to the accounts set up at LFCU, First American Bank and Community Bank, Iberia Bank locations in LaPlace have also created accounts for each of the deputies and their families.

“We are saddened by the recent news and want to help the victims and their families in a meaningful way,” said Karl Hoefer, Louisiana Regional President for Iberia Bank. “Donations can be made at any location.”

Look for further updates on local benefits in L’Observateur and at and