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Community garage sale supports 60+ River Region cancer patients

GARYVILLE — A donation to Perry’s Posse’s annual garage sale fundraiser turns spring-cleaning into financial and emotional assistance for more than 60 active cancer patients in the River Parishes.

The garage sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 2-4 at 127 GYO Road in Garyville, and donations are being accepted through Monday.

Donations of all kinds are welcome with the exception of clothing, according to Perry’s Posse member Trudy Torres. Kitchen items, furniture, exercise equipment, appliances, children’s toys and baby items have been top sellers for the past three years, she said.

The garage sale takes place at 127 GYO Road in Garyville.

Torres hopes to raise $6,000 from this year’s garage sale to count toward roughly $25,000 in annual fees to send care packages, monetary gifts and spiritual books to cancer patients.

Tanya Roccaforte of Garyville founded Perry’s Posse in 2014 after her nephew and godson, Lawrence “Perry” Levet Jr., died from cancer.

Prior to his passing, Perry recognized the power of community outreach in times of tragedy and asked his aunt to start a charity to lessen the emotional and financial burden placed on cancer patients and their families.

Perry’s Posse has helped hundreds over the past four years and is currently serving 65 active patients.

All 18 members have personal connections to cancer, Torres included.

She’s lost her father and husband to the disease. Her brother has been battling cancer for nine years, and her daughter was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Just about every single person has family or knows someone who has been touched by cancer,” Torres said.

“It’s a disease that I wish we could cure. It’s very dear to my heart to be able to help cancer patients in the River Parishes. The little bit we are able to give to the patients puts a smile on their faces, and that makes us happy.”

All members have personal connections to cancer, according to organizers.

Joan LeBouef, public relations director of Perry’s Posse, is a cancer survivor. She said it’s important for the community to support fundraisers in whatever way possible, even if the contribution is not financial.

With the garage sale, one man’s trash could be another’s saving grace.

“You never know how much you can help somebody else by donating what you don’t use anymore,” LeBouef said.

Outreach has been generous and overwhelming for the past few years, according to LeBouef. There’s been touching moments; on occasion, families of patients who have passed away show up in vehicles loaded with donations, eager to pay forward kindness.

Whatever doesn’t sell in the garage sale will be donated to a Prairieville-based Catholic charity helping families struggling financially, LeBouef said.

Perry’s Posse members will be on-site to receive donations from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday. Drop-offs can be scheduled at other times, Torres said, and someone will be available to open the warehouse.

To schedule a drop-off day and time, call Torres at 504-201-1459, Tanya Roccaforte at 504-416-8093 or Joan LeBouef at 504-452-6547.