November 20, 2015

Joe Welke Scholarship of Honor 2015 Recipient, Bradley Blansett

I would like to start by saying thank you for giving me this scholarship.  I am honored to receive it, my family and I could not have been more proud and joyous.  It was a pleasure meeting Riley, the gentleman whom presented the scholarship.  The ceremony was also one I will never forget.

When I heard of the Cpl Joe Welke Scholarship of Honor, I was very curious to see what it was about.  I did quite a bit of research and found out that it was not just a scholarship, but also an honor.  I told my friends about it and they had never heard of one with such an impressive back story.

It was 6:30 pm in  Rapid City Stevens Theater and the ceremony was about to start.  The assistant principals were announcing the students and what they were receiving for scholarships.  Some had full rides to Yale, Harvard, South Dakota State University and so forth.  Most students were members of the National Honor Society.

I was near the end when the principal said, “I would like to introduce Riley McManigal”.  Riley stood up from his seat and gave his speech about who he was and what the scholarship meant.  The audience was in awe of the history of the Joe Welke Scholarship of Honor.

What does the Joe Welke Scholarship mean to me?  It means an honor has been bestowed upon an individual, not just a scholarship.  My name is now associated with his and that means more than words can describe.  I feel blessed that it came with a $500.00 check.  I cannot thank you enouch for the money, it will really help towards getting my degree in Civil Enginnering. I also plan on participating in the ROTC and join the US Army as an Officer.

Thank you again,

Bradley Blansett

November 11, 2015

On Veterans Day, we remember a great man...

Bernard "Bernie" Neuville, served in the United States Marines during WWII.  He fought in the battle of Iwo Jima and was one of the few survivors in his platoon. As a Green Bay resident, it didn't take long for Doug LaViolette and Bernie to meet and they instantly had a memorable friendship.

Recently, Bernie's two sons, their wives and his daughter visited Doug at their home.  Bernie passed away at the age of 88 on August 8th--the same day Brian was lost 23 years ago.  His family shared stories about their dad and as they were leaving gave Doug a card which included a donation to Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation in memory of their Dad.  What a thoughtful and kind thing to do in Bernie's memory.  Their donation meant a lot to us and will invest in the future of our communities through scholarships to young men and woman who are making a difference in this world.
This beautiful flag his family stands by was a gift from Bernie many years ago.  It hangs proudly at the entrance of "Foundation Headquarters"

Bernie married the former Pearl Fabry on July 8, 1950, at St. Francis Church in Duvall, WI and celebrated 65 years of marriage this past July. He was employed by Nabisco for over 30 years retiring in 1988. Bernie was a member of the Sullivan-Wallen VFW Post No. 0011.

Bernie and Pearl were longtime members of St. Philip the Apostle Parish. He was instrumental in starting and organizing their parish picnics for many years. His favorite pastimes included collecting and trading antiques, woodworking and making his famous "cherry bounce".  His love for Door County has carried thru to his children and grandchildren. After retirement, he started downhill skiing and enjoyed many family ski trips to Powderhorn Mountain.

Bernie, thank you for all you for our country, your family and those you meant along the way... including our family and the Foundation.

October 29, 2015

We are proud to welcome Fran Anderson to our Board of Directors

Fran was Brian's Aunt and has served on our Board of Advisors for three years now, but she has been involved with Brian's Foundation since the beginning. 

"I believe in the mission of the Foundation.  I believe in Brian's principles, integrity and his search for purpose.  I served on the Board initially as a surrogate for and with my husband,Ron, as his capacities diminished.  I know that if he were able Ron would be helping to strengthen the Foundation in whatever way he could.  
I will continue to serve in a new role  with Ron, Brian and family in mind, but also the many past, present and future young people who will be creating their own legacies with the assistance of the Foundation." --Fran Anderson
Fran is always one of the first people to jump in and volunteer whenever it is needed, she supports the Foundation financially and is a big encouragement during the time of our events.  Her sense of humor is priceless. 
She is retired from a 30 year career serving in managerial and executive positions in residential and health care facilities and enjoys spending time with family, golfing, and outdoor activities. 

October 15, 2015

Our next event benefiting Brian's Foundation!

It is with great pleasure and excitement that we announce our next Foundation event, 

Keys to your Heart
       A True Love Story Never Ends
This unique event will be the inaugural event at The Automobile Gallery in downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin on Valentine's Day,  Sunday, February 14th, 2016 from 3:00-6:30pm.

The Automobile Gallery features a classic automobile collection and  state-of-the-art event space. The Gallery's mission is to appreciate the automobile as art... and to educate, inspire and share that passion with others so they too can truly appreciate the form and function of the automobile-past, present and into the future.

This event will be intimate with limited seating and it is one you won't want to miss! Be one of the first people to visit this exclusive Gallery.  The event will consist of hors d'oeuvres, drinks, a unique auction and a short inspirational program...but best of all the Gallery itself!

"I am proud The Automobile Gallery will be hosting the Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation for its first official, public event.  I believe in education and drive. Witnessing the growth and impact the Foundation has in our community-and worldwide- is truly inspiring."

-Founder and CEO of The Automobile Gallery, Wm. "Red" Lewis.

Sponsorships are now available. Please contact Kim or Doug LaViolette for more details at or phone 828-242-3790.  To find more on The Automobile Gallery, you may visit their website here: Automobile Gallery Website or view the coverage from the official announcement press conference here.

October 8, 2015

When we awarded our first scholarship at DePere High School, we had no idea what was ahead for Brian's Foundation. We were a grieving family taking it "one day at a time". We didn't know what was in store for us or the Foundation, but we continued to move forward.

The more students, families and communities we heard from, we realized we could take our "one day at a time" and change lives one scholarship at a time.

 Our first scholarship recipient is now 41 years old. He speaks on the impact the scholarship has had over 20 years later...


In a letter from Todd that was shared in our 1993 newsletter, he speaks of the scholarship presentation: "... this was a very special moment and one I will never forget. I received the award and hugged each one of the LaViolettes. We walked off the stage together into the hallway. I wanted to say so much to them, but all I could say was 'thank you'. I watched them walk away and realized how much a part of my life they had become."

We haven't forgotten that moment either, Todd. Thank you for continuing to be a large part of the Foundation and our lives. All we can say is 'thank you.'