St. Bernard’s Songy Siblings, Owners Of WOW, PJ’s, A-1 Elevators, Organize Fundraiser For Injured Deputies
CHALMETTE, LA – The St. Bernard Sheriff’s office recently suffered some tragic news as two of their finest, Lt. Ryan Laylle and Deputy Justin Topey were seriously injured in an ATV accident.
Today, Friday, Sept. 15 through Sunday, Sept. 17, WOW Café and Wingery in Chalmette will be collecting cash donations in support of both families, and WOW, PJ’s Coffee in Chalmette and A-1 Elevators will match the donations collected throughout the weekend up to $5,000.
Brook Songy Anastasiadis, owner of WOW Café and Wingery in Chalmette, and her husband Niko, a fellow St. Bernard native started the “One Family-One Vision” (#StBernardStrong) fundraising effort.
“Our family is built on the spirit of giving back, so is the St. Bernard community,” said Anastasiadis. “That’s how we were raised, and Lord knows that over the past decade or so, we have had to rely on each other for incident after incident, this is no different.”
Anastasiadis’ family didn’t hesitate to join her mission. Brook Anastasiadis’ brother Shane Songy, his wife Kelly, along with their partner Shawn Breaud, both St. Bernard natives as well, are owners of PJ’s Coffee in Chalmette “This wasn’t an option,” said Songy. “We are one big family in St. Bernard and we take pride in that. There’s an obligation to support those that support you. These officers are our friends, not to mention they protect us on a daily basis. St Bernard is a big family.”
“If the shoe was on the other foot, the community would be supporting us, I’m confident in that,” said Gary Songy, the eldest Songy sibling and owner of A-1 Elevators. “Whether it was school, playing ball or fishing together in the bayous, most of the community grew up together in one way or another. Like my brother and sister, my spouse is from St. Bernard also. My beautiful wife Erin, like us, understands the importance of family too."
No donation is too small, organizers said, and no food purchase is necessary. Blue hearts will be sold for one dollar with a hopeful message from the donor that will be displayed to teach children the value of family and helping your fellow neighbor.
One hundred percent of the donations will be given to the Laylle and Topey families, organizers said.