Perry’s Posse finds new garage sale site after devastating fire

Published 12:12 am Saturday, January 19, 2019

LAPLACE — Quitting wasn’t an option for local nonprofit Perry’s Posse, even after a devastating Halloween night fire at the Garyville Recreation Center Gym incinerated thousands of garage sale items projected to raise $25,000 for active cancer patients.

The leading ladies of Perry’s Posse are busy preparing for the next garage sale to be held at 1414 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace, next door to Allied Express in the Riverlands Shopping Center.

The garage sale will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 8-10, with a ½-off sale on remaining items from March 11-13.

Items that don’t sell will be donated to Goodwill or battered women’s shelters, according to Perry’s Posse founder Tanya Roccaforte.

Donations from a River Parishes community with immeasurable grace started pouring in within hours of the fire, Roccaforte said.

Without the Garyville Recreation Center to store the items, Perry’s Posse members stocked donations in houses as the search for the next garage sale location began.

St. John the Baptist Parish residents Bobby Haydel and Kerry Brignac became the group’s “angels of mercy” when they announced Perry’s Posse could use a vacant unit in the Riverlands Shopping Center for three months.

Perry’s Posse accessed the new location Jan. 7, and members have unloaded more than 25 truckloads of donations in the days since.

“The place is almost ¾ of the way full,” Roccaforte said. “We’ve been trying to be out there every day from 8 to 4 to receive donations.”

Residents are welcome to drop off any gently used household items, with the exception of clothes, books and “old time” box televisions. Help from the community has also come in the form of fundraisers hosted by numerous businesses and community groups.

Garyville-based Blood, Sweat and Bonfires collected more than $2,000 for Perry’s Posse in a Dec. 23 bake sale, T-shirt sale and gift basket raffle.

Poker groups and companies including Marathon, Cargill, and Nalco have all come to the nonprofit’s aid, among many others.

Roccaforte said the list is too extensive to name every contributor, though Perry’s Posse is thankful for each one.

“Since the fire, the community and the businesses have joined a mass force and have truly donated thousands of dollars to help us restore,” Roccaforte said, noting the financial help allowed the group to replace $3,000 worth of tables and other materials that were borrowed from local organizations.

“It is truly endless, and we can’t thank everyone enough,” Roccaforte said. “We are successful because we have people who back us up and know we are doing the right thing for the cancer patients. It’s for no other glory but for them.”

Perry’s Posse started after Roccaforte’s 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 approximately 150 active patients in St. John the Baptist, St. Charles and St. James parishes.

Each patient receives care packages, monetary gifts and spiritual books.

Upcoming fundraisers can be found on the Perry’s Posse Facebook page. For more information or to schedule a garage sale pick-up, call 504-201-1459.