April 14, 2014

Spring is one of our favorite seasons for the Foundation, mostly because it is Scholarship Season! 
Brian Ntshikila is attending LEAP Science and Maths School in South Africa.  He is pictured here with teacher, Mona Ewees.

Please see the date and times for our presentations below. We are truly looking forward to another year ahead and you can be apart of it!  

If you'd like to attend any of the presentations in your area, please let us know.

2014...Changing Lives, One Scholarship at a Time

Joel Gentz: Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN- April 26th

Sal Giunta: JFK High School, Cedar Rapid, IA- April 28, 6:30 pm
Megan Moore received the 1st annual 
Rachel Bosveld Scholarship of Honor in 2013. 
She is pictured here with Rachel's dad, Marvin and his wife, Julie.

General George S. Patton: Pilsen, Czech
Republic,- May 2nd 

John Bradley: Appleton West High School, WI- May 12, 6:30 pm

Rachel Bosveld: Waupun High School, WI- May 14, 7:00 pm  

Victoria Parmentier Scholarship: Ashwaubenon High School, WI-May 14, 6:30 pm

Joe Welke: Rapid City Stevens High School, SD- May 15, 7:00pm 

Andrew Brownfield: North High School, Akron, OH- May 16, 9:00 am
Jerome Hatfield: Tunstall High School, Dry Fork, VA- May 16, 8:45 am 

Isaiah Hunt:  Bayport High School, WI-- May 16, 9:00am
Matt Atkinson Community: Green Bay East, WI- May 19, 7:00 pm

Danny Dietz: Heritage High School, Littleton, CO-- May 19, 6:30 pm 
Lukas Buttke, the 2013 Brian LaViolette Scholarship recipient is pictured here with his parents, Kim and George.

Brian LaViolette: Partners in Education Youth Celebration, WI- May 20, 6:00 pm

Ellsworth Scholarship:  Belding High School, MI- May 21, 7:00 pm *First time scholarship award presentation

Kyle Hemauer: Chilton High School, WI--May 21, 7:00pm

Len Keller: Auburn High School, Rockford IL-May 21, 6:00 pm

Ken Kubsch:  Manitowoc High School, WI May 21, 7:00 pm

Ron Sager:  Fox Valley Lutheran High School, WI- May 21, 9:00am

Ben Edinger: Green Bay West High School, WI-- May 21, 6:30pm

Brent Vroman: Omro High School, WI May 21, 6:45pm 

Jesse Thiry:  Luxemburg Casco High School, WI, May 23, 9:00 am

Robert Foley: United States Military Academy, West Point NY- May 27, 2:00 pm

Nueske Family: Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School, WI- May 27 * First Annual Scholarship award presentation
Bhim Sutar will be studying to become a nurse. Theresa Carter of Omnova Business Solutions who sponsors the award presents at North High School.

Ken Hess:  Reynolds High School, Asheville NC-TBD 

Ollie Bogsted Scholarship: Suring High School, WI-Awarded in May

"The Journey is the Reward" Scholarship: Suring High School, WI- Awarded in May 

NWTC Scholarship: Suring High School, WI-- Awarded in May 

Eric McColley: Gettysburg High School, PA-- May 28, 7:00pm

Nichole Frye: Lena High School, WI-- May 28, 7:30pm

James Cathey: Reno High School, NV- May 28, 7:00 pm

Ryan Jerabek: Pulaski High School, WI- May 28, 8:30 am

Above and Beyond Scholarship: Oconto High School, WI-May 28, 7:30pm

Esther Cleveland Safford: Oconto High School, WI- May 28 7:30pm

Robert Safford: Oconto High School, WI- May 28, 7:30pm

"The Journey is the Reward":Oconto High School, WI-May 28, 7:30pm

NWTC Scholarship: Oconto High School, WI- May 28,  7:30pm 
Cody Christensen with his parents at the NWTC awards night

Mike Colalillo: Denfeld High School, MN-May 29, 7:00pm

Ken Stumpf, Elmer Burr: Menasha High School, WI-June 3, 9:30am

Tom Hudner: Civil Air Patrol, Appleton, WI-TBD

Nainoa Hoe: 1Lt Nainoa K. Hoe Battle Command Training Center, Schofield Barracks, HI- August 28

South Africa Scholarship: LEAP School Science and Math, Cape Town, Republic of South Africa--Summer of 2014

Poland Scholarships (6 Scholarships): Nidzica Foundation Award Ceremony, Nidzica Poland-September  

St. Norbert Scholarships (4 Scholarships): DePere, WI --October 2014

Junior Achievement-Awarded during Business Challenge to Amanda Charles in February  

March 10, 2014

Remembering a Special Evening

On a very cold November night our hearts were warmed by all who helped us make "An American Story" come to life.

We captured every moment at the Meyer Theatre that night and are happy to let you know that we have DVD's for sale of "Sharing An American Story".

Not only does the DVD feature the 30 minute documentary, Return to Pilsen by WLUK-FOX 11, but the entire evening! Each chapter highlights a different part of the evening.

In one chapter, be awed again by the magic of Justin Flom.

In another, re-live the powerful speech by Pilsen's Mayor, Martin Baxa.

Enjoy the musical talent by Preble Chamber Choir.

...and much more!

They are available for sale in several locations in Wisconsin:
  • Camera Corner Connecting Point, 529 Monroe Ave., Green Bay, WI 54301 
  • Global Recognition, 980 Velp Ave., Green Bay, WI 54303 
  • Jet Air Group, 1921 Airport Road, Green Bay, WI 54304 
  • Madison Avenue Salon and Spa, 413 Madison St. Green Bay, WI 54301 
  • Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats Company Store, Wittenberg, WI 54499 
  • The Liberty Lodge at Sister Bay starting June 1st, Sister Bay, WI 54234 
  • WLUK FOX 11, 787 Lombardi Avenue, Green Bay, WI 54304 

Please share with friends or give as a gift, we have them for sale for only $10.00. (Shipping costs if applicable: 1-3 DVDs: $5.00 4-10 DVDs: $10.00 11 and over: $15.00)

If you are interested in purchasing a DVD of this special evening, please let Kim LaViolette know at kim.laviolette@gmail.com or 828-242-3790.

January 29, 2014

Remembering Brian..by Julie Hoerth

A lot of times, when I'm blogging, I'm just whipping up a post in about twenty minutes. My brain moves faster than I can type, and the words never capture all the details I want to include. They are imperfect, like everything else in this life, and that's ok. This post is especially imperfect, because I could never say everything I wanted on this topic. Never in a million words. Sometimes, emotion is just too big to define.

Last week, January 23rd marked what would have been the 37th birthday of Brian.

Brian is the brother of my friend, Kim. Kim and I met in the first grade, and being her friend was a no-brainer. She was sweet and kind and funny. She had huge glasses that I was jealous of and a Barbie dream house that we played with for hours on end. Her mom filled us up with the best after-school snacks, and her older brother Brian let us follow him around and watch Back to the Future with him when we grew bored of singing and dancing with the Mickey Mouse Club. As we got older, Brian taught us how to play pool. We traded in our Barbies for billiard balls and became 12-year-old pool sharks, Kim and I.

One day, when Brian was fifteen, he and three friends went to Door County for the weekend. While swimming in the bay, an undertow made it too difficult for him to return to shore. 

Over the past 23 years, I have revisited the day Brian went missing over and over in my head, more times than I can count. Kim was at my house that August afternoon. We were swimming in the backyard and my mom came outside to tell us that Kim's parents were on their way over and that we should get out of the pool. That was all my mom said, but Kim and I hustled out of the pool and exchanged a glance with each other, silently acknowledging a mutual feeling - something wasn't right. Looking back, as a parent now myself, I don't know how my mother held it together in that moment. Actually, knowing my mom, she'd say it was all God. 

This is the point where I could try my hardest to explain the sadness and despair and helplessness I felt when Brian went missing. Or the shock and heartache I witnessed in Kim and her parents during the five days it took to recover Brian's body from the bay. Or the finality I felt at Brian's funeral - a feeling I had never before experienced. I was only twelve. But trying to describe those things would never do the feelings justice.

When someone dies, countless people are affected, and so many people suffer each loss at different levels. When Brian died, Kim lost her brother. Doug and Renee lost their son. He was a cousin, a nephew, a grandson, a friend, a teammate, a classmate, a student, a coworker, a neighbor. To someone, he was a kid from church, to another, a caddy at the golf course, and to at least one teenage girl - probably more - he was a first crush. The list goes on and on. To me, he was my best friend's brother.

Kim and I could have made an interesting case study. We were lucky kids with great families. The most we had ever worried about at twelve years old was what boy we should call after school or what to wear to the next middle school dance. But then suddenly, this. Devastating loss. Tragedy. Kim - a twelve-year-old girl who lost her brother and very best friend, and me - her twelve-year-old friend trying to understand it all and essentially, make her feel better about something that you just can't fix.
Our friendship changed. Everything did, as we adjusted to a new normal. But thankfully, it made us closer. I still remember the first time Kim slept over at my house after Brian died. We were on the living room floor, sleeping bags pulled up to our chins, probably talking about boys from school, and Kim suddenly said, "I see Brian everywhere." We cried a little, and talked about Brian for hours.

Thank God that old saying rings true: time truly does heal. I think it numbs certain feelings and memories as well, making the sharp, painful parts softer and more tolerable. It enables you to carry on.

Every year on Brian's birthday I revisit some of the memories of knowing Brian, and feelings from the time surrounding his death come flooding back. I also marvel at how far his family has come since that day, and how much of an influence they have had on others. Kim's family did something amazing with their grief. They channeled it into a scholarship foundation in Brian's name, which started out as a one-student scholarship at our high school, but has grown locally, nationally and globally, granting over 575 scholarships around the world.

In the years since Brian's been gone from this world, his life and death have been talked about by many, near and far. Brian definitely left a legacy, helping all of these young people pursue their dreams, and hopefully contribute to a brighter future for all. It is truly, truly amazing that from the tragedy of Brian's death, so many people have been helped. I know that he would be extremely proud of what his family did in his name.

But to me, most days, Brian isn't a legacy. He's still the older brother of my friend, Kim. Handsome, with a shy smile and a quick wit. Waving at me from behind the lawn mower, as I ran up the sidewalk to the front door of Kim's house. Daring us, on freezing cold days, to roll around in the snow then jump into the steaming hot tub. Watching Stand By Me, then spending hours in the basement playing ping pong and teaching us how to shoot pool. Teasing us to leave him alone, but then inviting us into his room with his friends to listen to Guns N' Roses, Use Your Illusion. (Kim, remember those dance moves he and Austin showed us? I sure do.) 

Brian, you are truly missed by so many, each and every day. I'm so grateful to God for having known you. Because of your death, I learned at a young age that death isn't something to be feared, and I have never shied away from those who are grieving. Because of your life, I learned even more, about hard work, about celebrating the journey and especially about living a life of love and kindness. 

PS - When we meet again, you can bet I'll be teasing you about your Guns N' Roses dance moves.

Remembering you on your birthday and always.

January 23, 2014

Happy 37th Birthday Brian!

37 years ago, this guy was born. And we are sure glad he was. 

A quote from the autobiography Brian wrote for an 8th grade assignment..     
"One thing I don't remember is my first birthday party.  But through the magic of photography, I found out many things.  I saw I had a Mickey Mouse cake, loved the frosting and had nineteen guests."

And here is the photo to prove it. 

Brian brought a lot of joy into the lives of people who knew him.  And he still does, thanks to the Foundation that bears his name.   Brian's birthday is still bitter-sweet for us, but mostly sweet (No pun intended). 

Most of us take time to reflect on the past year during our birthday time. On January 23rd, we take special time to reflect on Brian's life.  

As a family, Brian continues to bring us joy not only from our memories, but through all of you. He has "introduced" us to so many since he passed away. Through his foundation and the spirit he left behind, we know all of you.  

Now, that is pretty sweet.

January 8, 2014

Doug and Kim LaViolette featured on CW 14's Robert Hornacek show!

Robert Hornacek of CW 14 in Green Bay, Wisconsin approached Brian's Foundation to be featured on his Sunday morning show.

During the half hour interview program, Robert was very kind and we were able to reflect on Brian, as well as the growth of his Scholarship Foundation that honors 70% other people in addition to Brian. If you missed the original air date, you can view it in its entirety online here!

We do hope you take the time to check it out and share with others!