Perceus the dog inspires benefit to help people displaced by Plaza explosion

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A yellow lab found almost three weeks after being spooked by the explosion and fire on the plaza, now has a fundraiser named after him to help some of the people displaced by the plaza explosion.

The dog is named Perceus. His owner, John Verstraete, is a doctor who owns the building east of JJ’s Restuarant.

Ron Larson, the benefit organizer and good friend of Verstraete, said the building housed the Plaza Physician’s Group and House of Elan, a medical spa.  Larson said the building is totaled.

That’s why he said they created the “Perseus — Plaza Explosion Benefit.” Larson said they hope to raise money to help cover what insurance won’t, and for all the staff.

“Some of them are temporarily relocated with other medical spas or massage companies as well but he had still been paying them the whole time they were closed and looking for a location so he was still paying them while they were out of work,” Larson said.

The fundraiser will be held Saturday at 3215 Main Street. Larson said that is Verstraete’s temporary location.  It starts at 4 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m.

Larson said it will feature a Perceus kissing Booth, Live band, Variety Show and D.J., along with silent auction pieces from a variety of talented artists.

He also said they still need art to sell at the event, as well as sponsors.

Larson said some of the proceeds will also go to Perceus’ medical bills and 10 percent of donations will go to the Great Plains SPCA.

Larson said Perceus ran and was missing for almost three weeks after the explosion. He said with determination, perseverance, Perceus was found and reunited with his owner. He said Perceus has become a beacon of hope for Kansas City and that anything is possible even in such tragic events.

Larson said donations can also be made to accounts at U.S. Bank under Plaza Physicians Group or Prayers for Perseus.

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