June 27, 2015

2015 Scholarship Recipients!!

Christopher Beckman
Above and Beyond
Michigan Tech
San Kay Thee
Andrew Brownfield
Early Childhood Education
University of Akron
To be awarded in October
Bellin Health

Katie Clark
Ben Edinger
Criminal Justice
Jordan A King
Brent Vroman

Donglin “Linda” Zhang
Brian LaViolette 
Bioenginnering Pre-Med, Public Health
Williams College
Janeen Plomondon
Danny Dietz
Secondary Education
Uni-CO Boulder
Nicole Giesen
Danny Dietz 2nd
Biomedical Engineering 
Colorado School of Mines
Emma Bahm
Eric McColley
Criminal Psycology 
Liberty University 
Brooke Woodford
Esther Cleveland
Elementary Education
Kaily Goddman
Isaiah Hunt
Christiana Adame Delgado
James Cathey
University of Reno
Landon Holley
Jerome Hatfield
Biomedical Engineering
University of SC
Jesse Erickson
Jesse Thiry
St. Norberts
Bradly Blansett
Joe Welke
Chemistry and Military Science
SD School of Mines
Jonah McCrorey
Joel Gentz
Air Force
Purdue University
Sydney Wayner
John Bradley
UW-Stevens Point
Tori Hipke
Darian Rose Bowman
Michaela Bissinger
Ken Hess
Cassidy Ryan
Ken Kubsch
Speech Pathology
UW-Stevens Point
Parker Blob
Ken Stumpf
National Guard
Renee Schmitz 
Kyle Hemauer
UW Madison
Phallen Lambert
Len Keller
Collage of Dupage
Clarissa Skaletski
Matt Atkinson
Art Education
UW Oshkosh 
Benjamin Rouse
Mike Colalillo
Law Enforcement
Fondulac Tribal and Community College
To be awarded in August
Nainoa Hoe

Sierra Demmith
Nichole Frye
Early Childhood Education
 Rasmussen College
Amelia Nievinsk
Nueske Family Scholarship of Excellence
Ripon College
Doug Exworthy
It Computer Business 
Darian Rose Bowman
Mackenzi LaMarre
Ollie and Helen Bogsted
Social Work
 Alena Vebrová
Social Work

To be awarded in September 
Poland Scholarships

Taylor White
Rachel Bosveld
Exercise Science/Therapeutic Recreation
Ramadan Raji
Ray Zimmerman
Chemical Engineering 
Douglas Exworthy
Robert C Safford
It Computer Business 
Leora Reyhan
Robert Foley
Hannah Heyer
Ron Sager
Martin Luthern College
Kayla Gracyalny
Ryan Jerabek
Elemenary Education
St. Norberts
Daheun Kim
Sal Giunta
University of Northern IA
Carly Cerrato
Samantha Cuene
Health Promotion
Stevens Point
To be awarded in July
South Africa Scholarship

To be awarded in October
St. Norbert College (4 Scholarships)

Lennon J. Mauel. 
Tom Hudner

Clare Cuene
Victoria Parmentier
St. Norberts
Andrew Clements
Wendell and Shanna Ellsworth
Grand Valley State Univeristy
Hannah Linebaugh 
Wendell and Shanna Ellsworth
Michigan State University

June 2, 2015

2015 Recipient of our $10,000 scholarship SURPRISE!

Last week, we had the privilege of suprising our 2015 Brian LaViolette Scholarship recipient, Donglin "Linda" Zhang with the news that she received our $10,000 scholarship during her first period Spanish class. 

Her whole family joined in on the surprise as well! What a joy to meet them all and welcome Linda to our Foundation family.

The impact one scholarship can have

"If the love of what you're doing exceeds the labor of doing it... success is inevitable."- Bob Nueske

All of our scholarships have an impact that is not easily measured.  We were reminded of that a few weeks ago in the Czech Republic.  

Pilsen recipients
Our General George S. Patton Scholarship of Honor recipients: Adela Tanzerova (2013), Barbora Petermannova (2014), Alena Vebrova (2015), Kristyna Otaskova (2012)

It was a special time for Brian's Foundation for many reasons in the city of Pilsen earlier this May. Not only did we award our 4th annual General George S. Patton Scholarship of Honor to Alena Vebrova, but over 20 friends of the Foundation from the States shared the experience together.  20 people that would not have thought to spend their vacation in the small city in the Czech Republic if it wasn't for Bob Nueske's vision and dedication to share Pilsen's story and help create a scholarship to its students.

During this time, my Dad Doug LaViolette presented the Brian LaViolette Spirit Award on My 4th, 2015 at the Foye residence during a Scholarship of Honor reception with over 100 people in attendance.

Since 2011, the Brian Laviolette Spirit Award has served as a permanent recognition for a select group of individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership, commitment and extraordinary compassion.  The recipients give of themselves to improve their community and to Brian's Foundation.

Sadly, Bob Nueske passed away earlier this year.  With plans to bring his whole family with him this year, they decided to still make the visit to experience where Bo's passion grew.

Doug presented the family of Bob Nueske the Brian LaViolette Spirit Award for Bob's dedication, encouragement and talent to inspire the Brian Laviolette Foundation to love what it's doing.

Brian's Spirit Award was also presented to Barb and Patrick Foye-an American couple who has lived in the Czech for over two decades, as the General Patton Scholarship would not be feasible without them.  They truly are an instrumental part and go above and beyond in all that they do.

Success can mean different things for different people but for us it is when people connect, inspire and love wha they are doing.

May 14, 2015

We welcome Bill Challoner to our advisory board!

William (Bill) R. Challoner is the Executive Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at joined Smyth Companies.

Bill has extensive experience in Sales Management, Marketing, Business Development, Pricing methodologies/systems, IT System Development, Acquisition Integration and Team Building and was brought to Smyth to manage Sales and Marketing, Estimating and IT.  Prior to joining the Smyths, Bill was VP of Sales and Marketing at Pioneer Metal Finishing and held Executive positions at WS Packaging Group for over 13 years. 

Bill also serves on The Salvation Army Board of Brown County Wisconsin and participates on advisory boards for some local Green Bay, Wisconsin companies.  Additionally, he holds a Bachelors of Science in Business along with an emphasis in Paper Science and Engineering from Miami University –Ohio. He also received his Certificate of Leadership Development from the U.S. Army War College in June of 2013.

Outside of work Bill and his wife Kim enjoy spending time on the water with their daughters Jackie and Katie.  If not on the water you can find them at the tennis courts or at a music performance watching Jackie and Katie perform.

April 22, 2015

What it takes to be the Brian LaViolette Foundation

We say and believe we are a small foundation doing big things. But just how big-and small- are we?  Many of you know we established the Foundation in 1992 after my brother, Brian, died in a swimming accident.  With the memorial contributions, our family established a scholarship in his name and memory at Wisconsin's DePere High School. 

That year, a committee of longtime friends and family came together to filter through the 20 plus applications, interview the finalists and make the selection of our first recipient.  

One of our first newsletters
The next year, we awarded three scholarships. Shortly after, we partnered with the Boys and Girls Club and with a local college and tech school... and as they say, 'the rest is history'.    

A decade after what we thought would be
one scholarship to remember Brian and assist our youth, became 25 different scholarships a year.  

A decade after that, our numbers have doubled with over 55 being awarded annually--nearly 70% in honor of others.

You can see a list of over 630 recipients to date here.

But this isn't about the numbers, although we feel very blessed to have assisted so many through the years.  This is about the nuts and bolts. Or in our case- love and passion. 

My parents, Doug and Renee are truly the core of the Foundation.

The core of the Foundation-
Doug and Renee LaViolette

And the support and encouragement we receive from you is our "nuts and bolts." 

We were completely volunteered based until 2006 (that's 14 years of growth, special events and logistics).  With the tremendous workload that came with spearheading the 2007 Medal of Honor Convention we knew we needed to hire someone. Building on my experience as Community Director of the March of Dimes, we "took the plunge" and hired the Foundation's first full time employee... me, Brian's sister, Kim.

Kim LaViolette
I have attended several conferences and workshops lately and after sharing the Foundation is a "small shop" with one employee, many ask how we do it. 

My response? Our small organization is able to do 'big things' because of the love and passion we receive from our Board, our volunteers, our recipients and the families and communities we work with. 

We have never taken rent or rented an office space to make these big things happen, yet we set up our homes to make sure we can continue to do what we do.  My parents, the core of the foundation, have never taken one penny for salary. Neither has our Board of Directors. We are able to carry on our mission because we have countless people who donate endless time and talent to the Foundation's cause.

The Foundation is able to grow, because of your feedback, your financial support, your enthusiasm and -above all- your love and passion. 

You truly are the "nuts and bolts" of this journey.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for traveling this course with us.