Considered to be the date night spot of former Brandon resident Karen Kause, Beef O’Brady’s of Valrico will now be known as the place where her memory will be carried on, having launched Karen’s Kause: The Karen B Henderson PKD Foundation, Inc. in her memory.

Having announced the family-driven charity in July, Beef O’Brady’s of Valrico held an event in support of the nonprofit which recognizes the plight of those victimized by polycystic kidney disease (PKD). With over 200 in attendance, thanks to Sweetbay, DaVita, the LifeLink Foundation, The National PKD Foundation and Beef O’Brady’s spreading the word, the event allocated over $1,000 towards the much needed charity. During the event, Beef O’Brady’s held a ribbon cutting for the inauguration of the charity at Karen and her husband Charles’ favorite booth while Karen’s son, Charlie Henderson, reminisced of his mother and the charity in which he believes in. Guest speaker Allen Poindexter of the National PKD Foundation was also in attendance, providing the background of PKD. Besides a raffle drawing, Karen’s Krafty Korner was set up in order for attending children to create “get well” cards to be delivered to local PKD and dialysis patients.

Kause herself was a resident of Brandon for the past 20 years, wherein she became a “regular” at the local Beef O’Brady’s, along with her husband. Having been diagnosed with PKD, she fell victim to complications of the disease in February of 2008.

“This foundation was created because of the lack of knowledge, funding and emotional support that surrounds PKD patients and their families. PKD is the most common genetic disease there is, affecting one out of every 500 people. PKD is more common than Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, Huntington’s disease and sickle cell anemia combined,” stated Christie Ebner, a marketing field manager for Beef O’Brady’s home office and Karen Henderson’s future daughter-in-law. She mentioned that those with PKD have a 50 percent chance of passing it onto their children which is the case with Kause’s daughter Jodi Stone who has three children herself.

To date, there is no cure for PKD with its options consisting only of dialysis, kidney transplant or death.
With the direction of board members Charles Henderson – CEO, Charlie Henderson – president, Christie Ebner – vice president of marketing, Jodi Stone – vice president of community relations and Jon Stone – vice president of logistics and delivery, the charity will be “devoted to educating the community and finding a cure for this disease,” stated Ebner. Through the money raised, Karen’s Kause will sustain local organ donation, dialysis clinics and research trials and train volunteers – known as Karen’s Krusaders – to help PKD and dialysis patients within the local community.

The PKD Walk for the Cure on September 20, organized by the Suncoast Chapter of the National PKD Foundation, will take place on Ft. DeSoto Beach, helping Karen’s Kause. If this is something you would like to support, please go to

Beef O’Brady’s is open from 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 12 Noon-10 p.m. on Sundays. The restaurant plans to continue its charitable endeavors by sponsoring Spirit Nights for Durant High School, Valrico Elementary School, Mulrennan Middle School, Nelson Elementary School and several area churches.

“Come by and check out our community board to see when each of these events are and help us give to some great causes,” concluded Jeff Fuerst, owner and manager of Beef O’Brady’s in Valrico.
For more information, call 655-1055.

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Carisa is a Senior News Reporter and Assistant Editor at the Osprey Observer. When she's not at work, she continues to write, working on future projects; hangs out with friends and family, her best friend (aka her husband) and her four dogs.