Grace keeps on with grace

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, May 6, 2009

But for the AHS Class of 1948 Foundation, I would never have met Allen Jones, nor learned about his wife’s cookbook.

Allen is a proud son of Andalusian and a graduate of the AHS Class of 1948. As such, he has served on the board of that group’s foundation, which raises money to fund scholarships for AHS grads. Allen’s father was part of The Star-News, and his wife, Grace, wrote for The Auburn Bulletin. These ties made us immediate friends.

Grace Jones is also an ovarian cancer survivor, which leads us to her book. When a group of her friends decided to raise money for ovarian cancer research in her honor, they settled upon publishing a cookbook, and began meeting weekly at Panera Bread in Auburn to work on the project.

Ovarian cancer is one of the five leading causes of cancer death in American women. Each year, more than 20,000 women are diagnosed and about 15,000 of them die.

“As the group met to work on the cookbook every Monday morning, they drew strength from being together with friends, supporting one another and experiencing the unbridled celebration of life as witnessed by their friend,” a press release about their project stated.

The group, which calls itself The Hungry Tigers, included 600 recipes in their project. They range from novice to expert-level. Among them, Allen said, are Grace’s pancake, bread pudding and pound cake recipes.

Allen and Grace’s son, Woody Jones, created the artwork on the cover.

The ladies kicked off their project with a gala for Grace in Auburn late last fall. An amazing thing has happened. They sold all of the cookbooks and have reprinted. This time, the printing costs were donated and all of the proceeds of book sales go to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center for Ovarian Cancer Research. When they sell the remaining cookbooks — less than 200 left — they will have raised more than $20,000 for ovarian cancer research.

Just before the gala, Grace went to Albuquerque and flew in a hot-air balloon, Opelika-Auburn News columnist Mary Belk reported. “If you give up,” Grace told her, “you die.”

Copies of Auburn Celebrates Life, are available at Travel, Travel in Auburn. Leigh Allbrook, daughter of one of the “hungry tigers,” is handling sales there. If you’d like a copy, there are a couple of important things.

First, Leigh says, make sure the $20 check is to UAB and, in the “for” line, you must designate “ovarian cancer research.”

Mail the check, with about $4 in cash for shipping (UAB will not handle shipping, so it’s important that the check is separate) to:

Travel Travel

1625 E. University Dr. Suite 105

Auburn, AL 36830

Grace’s story, like those of many other cancer survivors, is inspiring. Her attitude and efforts remind us to live every day to the fullest, and to never, ever give up.