Kaitlin’s Cause to Benefit Joseph Penrod

By Rebecca Noeske

Student Council is preparing to hold its fifth Kaitlin’s Cause, an annual concert
benefitting a Central student or family. This year, Kaitlin’s Cause will go toward the Penrod
family. The concert is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, May 21 from 6 to 8 PM.
Joseph Penrod, son of Central teacher Jeff Penrod, was diagnosed with Duchenne
muscular dystrophy at a very young age. This disease has made it increasingly difficult for Joe
to maneuver around his home, so the goal of Kaitlin’s Cause is to help create a “Joezzone”.
This means making renovations to the Penrod’s home that will allow it to be more wheelchair
accessible and maneuverable for Joe.
“I love going to Kaitlin’s Cause,” said junior Katie Penrod, Joe’s older sister. “I’m so
glad it’s going towards Joe this year.”
Up until last year the concert has been held in the auditorium of Central. But beginning
with last year’s concert and continuing on to this year, the concert will be held at Bayside Sports
Grille in downtown Walled Lake. There is a ticket fee of $20, which pays for both the concert
and a dinner.
“It’s really cool to see people I know up there, rocking it out on stage,” said senior
Courtney Quinn.
This concert tradition began five years ago when college freshman Kaitlin Aldea, then
a high school freshman, was diagnosed with Leukemia. Her peers at school were looking for
an effective way to raise money for her cause and decided to try a concert. Although Aldea is
now in remission, the concert has continued to be held every year to provide financial support to
someone else suffering from a debilitating disease or condition.
The unique aspect about Kaitlin’s Cause is that it features young bands and singers from
all around the area who volunteer their time to help out. Every performer is required to first go
through a minor audition process beforehand.
Last year, Kaitlin’s Cause benefitted then junior, Brian Jarosz, who suffers from Spinal
muscular atrophy. The concert raised over $14,000 and was a big help in allowing Jarosz to
purchase a used wheel-chair accessible vehicle with hand controls.
“I’ve gone just about every year, and it has always been a great show,” said senior
Khadija Khan.

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