From left are Mary Laurence Vowell, Melody Vowell, Stacey Vowell, Brenda Vowell, Janice Griffin and Ginger Flake.
From left are Mary Laurence Vowell, Melody Vowell, Stacey Vowell, Brenda Vowell, Janice Griffin and Ginger Flake.
Cakes, pies, cookies and other desserts will be available Friday in the lobby of the Citizens Bank during a bake sale hosted by the Wyatt V. Courage Foundation.

The bake sale will begin at 8:30 a.m.

T-shirts for the upcoming Wyatt V. Courage Dash will be on sale for $20 each as well.

Proceeds will go to the new Heart Center at Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson which is expected to open in the summer of 2020.

The Wyatt V. Courage Foundation is a non profit 501c3 organization. Its mission is to raise awareness of Congenital Heart Disease as well as raise money for the Heart Center at Batson Hospital for children.

This foundation was created in memory and honor of Wyatt Everette Vowell, son of Craig and Melody Vowell, who courageously fought CHD his five months of life.

Melody is excited about the bake sale and upcoming Courage Dash, which is March 24 at Castalian Springs Retreat in Durant.

“We did the bake sale last year and it did really well,” she said. “So many people wanted T-shirts so we will have those for sale. Some people just come to make a donation.”

This year’s Courage Dash will be completely different than the first.

“We got a lot of feedback about it being on the road,” she said, noting that the location is now changed.

The event will be a four-mile adventure race with obstacles including mud, heights, depths, hills and hollows!

Each obstacle will offer the options of doing an alternative task if need be.

If the adventure race is not for you, you are invited to hike the beautiful terrain.

The registration fee is now $75.

For more information on the race or to donate visit

The Vowell family are huge supporters of Batson Hospital, with Melody noting that one in 100 children are born with a congenital heart defect. It is the number one congenital abnormality and is a leading cause of birth defect-associated infant illness and death.

In the U.S., hospital costs for the population of individuals with CHDs in 2004 were about $1.4 billion. In addition to medical costs of care, families of children with CHD incur other costs such as lifestyle changes, emotional stress, family uncertainty, and being able to return to work in order to care for their child (

The current Heart Center at Blair E. Batson performs approximately 300 cardiac surgeries each year. Per month, there are approximately 850 patients seen in the clinic with an average of 800 echos and 30-40 heart caths. Several of the cardiologists specialize in fetal echos which average approximately 50 per month.

The new center will consist of two new cardiac operating rooms, new cardiac cath and electrophysiology lab, and a new clinic complete with echo, EKG and exercise testing all in one location. The new Cardiac Intensive Care Unit will have 12 dedicated cardiac beds with potential for expansion to 20 beds. Along with the expansion of the Heart Center, there will be outreach clinics across the state of Mississippi to follow patients closer to their homes.

The Vowells extend a special invitation to everyone to attend the bake sale on Friday as well as the Courage Dash on March 24.

Rotel Grits               

1 box Jim Dandy Grits (2 cups grits cooked with 8 cups water)

1  pound sausage, browned and crumbled

1 pound Velveeta cheese, cubed

1 can Rotel

Salt and pepper to taste

1 stick butter

Make grits according to box directions. Mix in other ingredients. Let sit for 5 minutes. Pour into warm crockpot. – Ginger Flake

Mom’s Hot Crackers

1 box of saltine crackers

1 1/2 cups canola oil

1 package dry ranch mix

1 1/2  teaspoons red ground pepper

Put crackers in plastic covered container. Mix ingredients and pour over crackers. Turn container to evenly soak crackers. – Ginger Flake


4 chicken breasts

1/2 cup water

1 can cream of chicken soup

1  1/2 cups self rising flour

1  1/2 cups buttermilk

1 stick butter, melted

Boil chicken and place in the bottom of large oblong dish. Mix water and soup together. Spread over chicken. Mix flour, buttermilk and butter. Spread over chicken and soup mixture. Pour two cups of chicken broth over all and bake at 350 degrees until crust browns. – Ginger Flake


3 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup Karo

1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

1/2 stick margarine

1 unbaked pie crust

1 cup chopped pecans

Mix eggs, sugar, Karo, and vanilla together. Melt margarine and add to mixture with eggs, sugar, Karo and vanilla flavoring. Pour the chopped pecans into the pastry. Pour mixture over the pecans and bake at 275 degrees for about an hour. – Brenda Vowell


1 package chicken tenders, eight to 10

1 cup cold water

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup Crisco shortening

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 stick butter

plain flour

Boil chicken until tender. Cool and pull apart into small pieces. Mix water and salt together. Cut shortening into small pieces and add to water and salt. Add enough flour to water and stir until well formed ball is shaped.

Pinch off part of ball. Place ball on a flour pastry sheet. Cover ball with flour and roll it out very thin with a rolling pin. Cut rolled out ball into strips. Drop dumplings into the chicken broth that is boiling.

Continue rolling out dough and cutting into strips. Simmer in broth until dumplings are tender, about 30 minutes. Add chicken, salt, pepper and butter. Add extra water to broth if more liquid is needed. – Brenda Vowell


2 cups self rising flour

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 cup sour cream

Melt sour cream and butter and mix in flour mixture. Place spoonfuls in greased miniature muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. – Janice Griffin


1/2 cup cocoa

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/3 cup corn starch

3 cups milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Cool Whip

Combine corn starch, cocoa, salt and sugar in large saucepan. Gradually blend milk and dry ingredients, stirring until smooth. Cook over medium heat until it boils then cook until it begins to thicken. Pour in baked pie shell. Cover with wax paper and refrigerate for three to four hours. Garnish with Cool Whip. – Janice Griffin

Mom's ( Learmonth) Macaroni-Cheese -Tomato Casserole

8 to 12 ounces elbow macaroni                               

1 quart stewed tomatoes

1/2 to 1 stick butter                                             

 salt and pepper to taste

8 ounces Longhorn or cheddar cheese                  

Cracker crumbs

Cook and drain macaroni. Add butter, salt and pepper. Slice 3/4 and add to hot macaroni. Add tomatoes and mix well. Pour into casserole. Top with cracker crumbs and remaining cheese. Bake at 350 until golden. (about 30-40  minutes). – Stacey Vowell                               

Yummy Crawfish Dip

2  bunches green onions chopped                       

1 can of mushroom soup

3/4 cup butter                                                               

8 ounces cream cheese

3 tablespoons dried parsley                                                         

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

16 ounces frozen crawfish tails, juice and all             

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon chopped garlic                                                          

1/2 teaspoon salt

Saute onion in butter. Add remaining ingredients. Stir well. Simmer until completely warm. Serve with  corn chips.  – Stacey Vowell


1 box yellow cake mix

1 four-serving package of instant chocolate pudding mix

8-ounce carton sour cream

3 eggs

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup water

1 six-ounce package chocolate chips

Combine cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, eggs, oil and water. Mix for four minutes with mixer and add chocolate chips. Pour into greased bundt or tube cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until done. – Janice Griffin