A gift for music: Birthday present turns into musical pursuit

Casey Cook's husband bought her a keyboard for her birthday at the beginning of the pandemic. She taught herself to play, and has become a familiar face on the local music circuit. She's one of the opening acts for the Lake Fest music festival on Sept. 11.

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September 3, 2021 - 5:28 PM

Casey Cook celebrated her 35th birthday in May of 2020, during the most intense days of the COVID-19 lockdown.

She had been working as a paraprofessional in the Crest school district when classes were canceled that spring. She also was the high school’s head softball coach, and had high hopes for a season that would never materialize.

She helped her children with their school work at home, and took care of other children whose parents had to work during the shutdown.

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