January 30, 2012

We welcome Fran Anderson, Brian's Aunt to our Board of Advisors!

Fran will serve in conjunction with her husband Ron, who is currently on the Board.

Fran is retired from a 30 year career serving in managerial and executive positions in residential and health care facilities.  She enjoys spending time with family, golfing and outdoor activities. Her and Ron have been involved with Brian's Foundation since the beginning and we are excited to have her on board!

January 23, 2012

20 Years-20 accomplishments

35 years ago today, Brian came into this world. 
20 years ago this year, we established the Brian LaViolette Foundation.

When we established Brian's Foundation, we had no idea what would become of it.  We had a vision of keeping our promise to him to accomplish great things in his name and memory, but we weren't sure how it would all go. 

Establishing a non-profit 501c3 foundation was something we had never done.  There were dozens of questions, but one stood out, 'would we continue with just one scholarship at Brian's High School or would we expand?' The only way to know was to try.  So we did.

20 years, 20 milestone accomplishments

It is hard to single out 20 accomplishments over our 20 years as a Foundation, but again, we will try.
  1. Building on the $21,000 we received at Brian's funeral, we successfully became a 501c3 Foundation, awarding our first Brian LaViolette Scholarship at DePere High School in 1993.
  2. Creating "The Journey is the Reward Collection"-a series of inspirational prints and Green Bay Packers Hats embroidered with the Packer's NFL emblem.
  3. Expanding from one scholarship to eight in 1997. 
  4. Partnering with Scholarships Inc. to award the Distinguished Student Awards in Brown and Door County, WI.  We presented 26 scholarships in 1999!
  5. That same year, on 9.9.99, we held our first Celebrity Autograph Auction, including a Mercedes Benz raffle.
  6. Publishing "The Journey is the Reward" book, co-authored by Karoyn Gazella.
  7. Having a successful "Journey to the Stars" event with Henry Winkler.. yes, the 'Fonz'.
  8. Creating the Scholarship of Honor Program in 2003 to honor our military heroes.
  9. Expanding worldwide to Poland, eventually awarding 7 annual scholarships there.
  10. Hiring the Foundation's first and only full-time employee in 2006, Brian's Sister, Kim.
  11. Spearheading the national 2007 Medal of Honor Convention in Green Bay, WI, involving the entire community and nation in 26 memorable events.
  12. Expanding 'headquarters' to another rent-free location in North Carolina.
  13. Establishing a scholarship in South Africa..
  14. Being granted a Public Charity Foundation designation.
  15. Trademarking "The Journey is the Reward".
  16. Having part of our website in the Czech language after the General George Patton Scholarship was established in Pilsen, Czech Republic.
  17. Honoring and remembering 30 others, in addition to Brian, with scholarships in their names.
  18. Celebrating 'What's Right with America' on 11.11.11 inspiring a worldwide audience and awarding the first Brian LaViolette Spirit Awards.
  19. 2012 marks the year that we will grow and award scholarships in 13 states and 3 foreign countries.
  20. This year also marks the year that we will present our 500th scholarship!

January 18, 2012

Mike Colaillo, WWII Medal of Honor Recipient passes away at 86

We are sadden by the loss of Minnesota's last living Medal of Honor Recipients, Mike Colalillo.  In 2005, Brian's Foundation established the Mike Colalillo Scholarship of Honor at Denfeld High School in Duluth, MN.
Mike Colalillo holding the Scholarship of Honor Medal in  2005

Mike graduated from Denfeld High School in 1944. One year later, while serving in World War II, Colalillo went above and beyond the call of duty leading his men on an attack against enemy forces in Germany. In the face of savage artillery, machinegun fire, and almost certain death, he was committed to protecting others on the battlefield, and our freedoms here at home. President Truman presented Colalillo the Medal of Honor on December 18, 1945.
Mike with Guy and Karen Smith, good friends of Mike's and sponsor of the
Mike Colalillo Scholarship of Honor at Denfeld High School

He was a wonderful, humble man who will be missed by his community and his country.

January 12, 2012

A big year ahead..

‎2012 marks the 20th year of the Brian LaViolette Foundation! We will be awarding 5 new scholarships this spring in Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and the Czech Republic. It's going to be a exciting year!

More updates to follow..