Hand It On: Perry's Posse

GARYVILLE, LA (WAFB) - Their motto is "Quitting is NOT an option." Tanya Roccaforte with Perry's Posse said the group cannot save the world, but they can make a difference.

And making a difference they are. Perry's Posse is a non-profit cancer support organization named after Tanya's godchild Perry Levet.

"Perry lived with us for 44 year," Tanya begins. "In 2013 he was diagnosed with Leukemia, and a very serious case at that. It was the childhood version of Leukemia which is curable for children but deadly for adults."

Perry fought and fought, making regular trips to M.D. Anderson in Houston; experimenting with stem cell transplantation. But in the end, his immune system simply was not strong enough to continue the fight.

But before his death, Perry told his godmother Tanya he wanted her to assemble a group of like-minded individuals who had in some way been touched by this horrible illness, and form an organization to help other cancer patients and their families.

That's exactly what Tanya did. And Perry's Posse was born.

They received their 501c3 designation and rely solely on donations and gifts from the community. The mission of Perry's Posse is to provide financial, spiritual, and emotional support for cancer patients and their families in the River Parishes – St. John, St. James, and St. Charles.

And Perry's Posse has received the attention and support of other great organizations. The schools are getting involved. Civic organizations have begun holding fundraisers, poker urns, dart tournaments, etc. The Sheriff's department holds monthly fundraisers, too.

An organization called Pilots for Patients joined Perry's Posse. They are a group of pilots who take patients and up to one family member in need of transportation to out-of-town places for treatment, all free of charge.

Clair Becnel and her sister Gay Duhon nominated Tanya and Perry's Posse for Hand It On.

So we tagged along with Gay to one of the monthly meetings and surprised Tanya with our $300 gift.

"My family and I appreciate all your hard work, carrying on Perry's request," Gay began, standing next to Tanya. "You've done a lot of hard work. So on behalf of Hand It On, we want you to have $300 to do whatever you want. You're awesome!"

An extremely humbled and appreciative Tanya graciously accepted the gift and immediately reinvested it.

"I guarantee this is going to our Posse," Tanya immediately replied, holding up three crisp, one-hundred dollar bills to the group.

Oh, and their annual fundraiser garage sale is March 2, 3, and 4, 2018 in the Garyville, LA gym on Church Street.

And to nominate someone or organization for Hand It On, send an e-mail to HandItOn@wafb.com.

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