Jaci Pinell


Baton Rouge resident Cassie Sheehan stays on her toes daily as a wife and a mother of a toddler and infant, and teacher dedicated to Port Allen’s kids as well.

Cassie Sheehan is a National Board Certified Teacher and has taught first graders at Port Allen Elementary for the past 16 years. She doesn’t just teach, she teaches well. She was nominated for Teacher of the Year twice and was the 2011-2012 Parish Elementary School Teacher of the Year.

A volunteer serves lemonade to attendees of the second annual Clash of the Cooks to benefit Port Allen Elementary teacher Cassie Sheehan, who was diagnosed with Leukemia.

Lately, Sheehan has considered teaching and raising children a walk in the park compared to recent hardships. In January, Sheehan was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and a very aggressive FLT 3 Mutation in January. The mutation puts her at high risk for relapses.

Since January, she has received chemotherapy treatment every month.

Now, she needs a bone marrow transplant, a treatment aimed to cure the Leukemia. The transplant would result in an extended hospital stay and high medical bills.

Hearing of Sheehan’s battle, Clash of the Cooks went to work. Clash of the Cooks is a non-profit cook-off to help provide financial relief from the continuous medical expenses of local families who are battling cancer. The second-annual event brought together professional chefs, master tailgate cooks, and first-timers to raise money through their participation.

Ochsner, the title sponsor of the event dedicated to cancer research and new cancer treatment development for 70 years, had several people of all ages sporting blue shirts and handing out steaming plates of jambalaya. Auctions, as well as food and drink tickets, went towards the cancer funding as well. Rock Band returned to donate a performance again this year. The band was well received after last year’s inaugural event and landed several gigs as a result of the exposure.

The Judge’s Lagniappe Award, a new award this year, is for the team that “brings something a little extra.” “Bottoms Up” won the new award with atheir cooked peanuts and boudin egg rolls dipped in pepper jelly.

“Sheehanigans” won Best Team Name. The family, close to the Sheehans, described in laughter the name was most accurate of the Sheehan family.

“Slow Jams” won first place for the Judges Choice Award with their specialty in beef bacon.

“Cassie’s Crusaders” won second place for the Judges Choice Award and “Team PPMG,” an original sponsor this year and last, won third place.

“Cooking for Couvillion” won the People’s Choice Award for the second straight year. The award goes to the best jambalaya voted by the people through small treasure boxes. Their special white bean covered jambalaya was something many said they will try at home.


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