COOK/Chairman feels honored, blessed
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 1:00 AM
Plans are kicking up once again for Friday's Relay for Life featuring 10 teams and numerous volunteers hoping to raise $60,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Casey and Adam Mars with Jax, Alex, Maddox and Mary Montgomery.
Casey Mars is this year's honorary chairman for the relay, which was postponed earlier because of inclement weather.
The survivors' reception and walk will begin at 6 p.m. followed by the official opening at 7 p.m.
Relay for Life will be at the Neshoba Central High School football field.
Casey was diagnosed with breast cancer in January. Despite her illness, she has maintained a normal life, continuing to work at Laird Hospital in Union as a lab manager.
The busy mother of four plans to be cancer free in the fall, as she is a die-hard Ole Miss fan who loves football season.
Casey and Adam have four children: Jax, Alex, Maddox and Mary Montgomery.
Since Relay for Life was rescheduled because of rain, Casey won't be in attendance Friday night because of prior obligations.
Despite that, she wanted to share her story with our readers.
In Casey's own words:
"Let me start by saying how honored and blessed I am to have been chosen to serve as the Relay honorary chairman. I am so sad that it got postponed and due to prior obligations I will not be in attendance on Friday night. I was originally asked to say a few words at the opening ceremony and I wanted to share a quick story with everyone. This story has become an important part of my family's life and applies so well to Relay and everyone involved in making Relay for Life so special.
"It begins several years ago as I was reading an article about one of my favorite Ole Miss baseball players. He was telling about when he and his twin brother were growing up their father would always tell them before baseball practice or little league games 'love you boys, now go do work.'
"They thought their dad really hounded them to be become better athletes. They soon discovered they heard the phrase 'go do work' more and more but not just for baseball (although he currently plays for the Yankee organization). He encouraged them to 'do work' in their responsibilities at home; 'do work' in school; 'do work' in their relationship with each other and with friends; and most importantly they heard before church on Sundays, 'love you boys, now go do work' in their faith and their relationship with God.
"I remember thinking how awesome that article was and I told the story that night at the dinner table to Adam whom I thought was half listening. Fast forward a couple years, we too were expecting twins. We just weren't expecting them six weeks early.
"When they got here they were as healthy as two preemies could be aside from being too small. I will never forget the first time Adam and I got to go into the NICU together to see them and how small and helpless they looked. As we turned to leave the NICU for the night, Adam grabbed my arm and stopped me. He walked back over to their cribs and kissed them and said, 'love you boys, now go do work.'
"I don't know if I was more shocked that he had actually said that to the twins or that he was actually listening to my story all those years ago! Nevertheless it has become a vital part of our relationship. The twins did do work remarkably well and got bigger and stronger and were home in no time.
"We have often used that phrase in our house since that day, and on Jan. 10, 2013, when the doctor looked at us both and said 'this is cancer' I knew I had to 'do work.' I had to get better and stay strong, which I too have done remarkably well but not without the support I've received from so many, notably Adam and Mary Montgomery.
"Now let me say to any of those who are or who have battled cancer, 'Go do work!' 'Do work' in your treatments and recoveries, 'do work' in your determination to stay strong, and most importantly 'do work' in your faith . . . it will without a doubt get you through the toughest of times.
"If you are a caregiver, a spouse, a parent, a child, or just a friend of someone with cancer, let me also say to you 'go do work!' 'Do work' in your encouragement, 'do work' in your support, and most importantly 'do work' in your faith as well.
"Let us all come together and 'go do work' for Relay so that there may one day be better preventions, better treatments and God willing a cure for this horrible disease so that our children and grandchildren may not have to 'do the work' that so many of us have done."
Below are a few recipes shared by Relay supporters.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cream the butter with the sugars until fluffy. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract. Combine the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture. Stir in the espresso powder and chocolate chips. Drop by large spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a two-inch circle. Bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes or until nicely brown around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie. Yields two dozen cookies.
Fresh Strawberry Pie
Strawberries, drained and washed
1 graham cracker pie shell
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons strawberry Jell-O
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
Mix Jell-O, cornstarch and sugar dry. Bring water to a boil. Add all ingredients. Cook until it starts to clear and thicken. Stir often. Cool and let it partly set. Pour over strawberries in pie crust. Serve with Cool Whip if desired.
Country Grits and Sausage
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup uncooked quick grits
4 cups shredded extra sharp cheese
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried whole thyme
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
2 pounds bulk sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled over
Cook grits in water with one-half tsp salt. Combine grits and cheese in large mixing bowl and stir until cheese is melted. Combine eggs, milk and seasonings. Add small amount of grits to egg mixture and add sausage. Pour into 9x13 baking dish sprayed with pan. Refrigerate overnight. Before baking remove from refrigerator and let stand five minutes. Bake at 350-degrees for 50 to 55 minutes.
1 18.25 ounces strawberry cake mix (with or without pudding)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
3 eggs, divided
1 8 ounces package cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325-degrees. In large bowl, combine cake mix, butter and 1 egg. Blend well. Press mixture into the bottom of a greased 9x13 inch baking pan. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, 2 eggs and sugar until mixture is smooth and well blended. Pour mixture over cake mix batter and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until lightly browned on top. Cool and cut into bars.