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Cajun cooking to benefit Relay for Life

Decked out in beads from head to toe, the Chilton Medical Center kitchen staff looks mighty happy. With pride they scoop steaming red beans and rice, sausage and bread on to plates and hand it across to hungry patrons.

They’re celebrating the second annual Relay for Life Mardi Gras luncheon Tuesday afternoon, held in the medical center cafeteria, filled with purple, green and gold balloons and tables adorned with purple cloths.

The crew is led by a full-spirited Teresa Maddox, a three-time cancer survivor.

“We’ve got a good group that really sticks together,” Maddox, who joined the hospital in 2007, said. “If anyone in your family has ever had or survived cancer, this is just a very important thing.”

Connie Barbour, also a member of the cooking staff, survived thyroid cancer.

Along with the hardy main course, the staff serves cracker salad, a New Orleans dish that substitutes crackers for potatoes in your traditional potato salad.

Also on hand are king cakes, another Mardi Gras favorite. Lucky patrons who find a coin baked into their baked good win a free meal from the hospital, which normally serves from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

With Barbour, Gladys Tinsley, Wanda Higgins and Jessica Jones, Maddox once again successfully feeds line after line of folks rejoicing in Fat Tuesday but putting their $6 per plate down to benefit Relay for Life.

The hospital will also hold a spaghetti dinner on April 16. They will pre-sale the meals for people to pick them up and eat at home.

Hospital employees Ashley Davis, an insurance specialist, and Courtney Brock, in accounts receivables and data processing, served as captains for the lunch.