The Langdon Area School along with Munich, St. Alphonsus, and Edmore had a rocking day on April 18 when rock star Kat Perkins, former contestant on the hit TV show ‘The Voice’, put on a show sponsored by the families of Justin Kruk and Ashley Ratzlaff.
Posted on 4/23/16
By Melissa Anderson
The event was organized by Langdon Area High School Librarian Jennifer Romfo, who is Justin’s aunt, after she heard about Kat Perkins inspiring message.
“I heard about this about a year and a half ago through my brother-in-law, John Maus, Superintendent in Thompson,” Romfo said, “He said she had a really good message for students of all ages. I thought Kat would be someone the students would enjoy and never forget.”
Romfo spoke with the families of Justin Kruk and Ashley Ratzlaff about sponsoring a presentation to honor the two teens who tragically passed away in the fall of 2014 in a car accident.
“This was the families’ way to give back to the community that supported us in our time of need,” Denise Ratzlaff, mother of Ashley, said.
The families combined together to sponsor the event, using various funds such as some of the memorial money in the Justin’s Memorial Fund and Ashley’s Memorial Fund. The fund’s was set for opportunities, such as the Perkins concert, that will benefit the students in the community. The visiting schools of Munich and Edmore also provided funds for the show.
“Kat Perkins has been very popular throughout the region, and we felt her message would be relevant to students of all ages,” Dawn Kruk said on behalf of Justin Kruk’s family.
“We wanted to bring a positive message to our students and the area students,” Ratzlaff added.
Perkins is a native of Scranton and was a top five finalist on season six of the hit TV show ‘The Voice’ in 2014. Flash forward to 2016 and Perkins’ rising star is easy to see as she travels the country performing and spreading a very powerful, uplifting message of living “Fearless”
“I’ve seen about 50,000 students in over 400 school assemblies in over five states,” Perkins said, “We’ve done countless concerts in my home state and it’s incredible to connect with all my fans all over the country.”
Perkin’s hopes to inspire people through her music and the message she brings to always follow your dreams and pursue your passion.
“I was born with a gift and my mission is to share that gift and brighten the days of others,” Perkin’s shared.
Perkins gave two performances on the 18. The morning session was for high school students and the afternoon was for elementary students.
“My message to the students of Langdon is the power of living ‘fearless’ and what that means,” Perkins explained, “I try to help students define that word for themselves and spark thoughts about being brave, following their dreams, and most importantly, being kind.”
Perkins continued stating that kindness can be shown in many ways. Over the course of her performance Perkins talked about the importance of lifting one another up instead of cutting people down, especially when it comes to interacting on social media. This is something that the families of Kruk and Ratzlaff feel is very important in today’s world.
“We hope Kat’s message makes them think about posting on social media and to just be fearless, be brave, dream it-do it, be kind and help the students make the right decisions and really think before they act,” Ratzlaff said.
“We think both of these topics are important and really apply to everyone, regardless of age,” Kruk added, “Parents and teachers talk to students all the time about these topics, so maybe hearing about situations and experiences from someone ‘in the spotlight’ will be another motivation for them to think twice about doing something inappropriate and to support them when displaying positive behavior.”
Perkins is more than happy to give back to the communities of the state in which she grew up.
“In my case, I had a ton of community support while on NBC’s ‘The Voice’ and it came very naturally for me to want to give back to everyone that voted and supported me and continue to support my musical journey,” Perkins said, “What better way to give back than to do it with music and a message?”
The atmosphere at the school was buzzing before and even more after the presentations given by Perkins.
“It seemed as if the students really enjoyed listening to Kat,” Romfo said of the performance, “Hearing her sing was amazing. She really connected with the students and was really down to earth.”
For the families of Justin Kruk and Ashley Ratzlaff, the performances by Perkins meant a lot more than just a good time.
“We were so grateful that Kat could perform for our students. We were amazed at her presentation, and we are sure this made a positive impact on the students,” Ratzlaff said.
For the students of the schools, interacting with someone they have watched perform on TV was very exciting and Perkins’ ability to connect with the students on various levels is sure to have made a positive impact.
“I want our future to be bright and it starts with our young adults,” Perkins said.
This summer, Perkins will be putting on her first-ever summer camp for kids ages 12-18 in Medora.
“I will help develop the talents of young singers through voice lessons, performance, and leadership workshops,” Perkins said.
The camp is from June 22-25, and at the end of the camp, the kids will get to be Perkin’s very own opening act in front of thousands at the Burning Hills Amphitheater in Medora.
If you want to follow Kat Perkins on social media, you can follow her on Twitter @katperkinsmusic and visit her website at katperkins.com.