December 31, 2015

December 14, 2015

2014 West Point Cadet gives thanks

Charles Whitaker received the 2014 Robert Foley Scholarship of Honor at the United States Military Academy at West Point.  Charles has been in touch several times since receiving this award and is doing great.  He is now in training through the United States Army and is currently taking a course to fly Chinook helicopters. 
Charles has always struck us as a humble man with a selfless heart.  He lost his father his senior year and has talked about the importance of family.  

When we asked him to share what the foundation meant to him (on a heart), he didn't hesitate.  At this time of thanksgiving, we thought it only appropriate to share with all of you.

"Reminds me to EMBRACE and find STRENGTH in the bonds forged with family and friends".
Thank you Charles. 

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.'

October 7, 2015

Marti Kuimjian received the Brian LaViolette Scholarsip at Bellin College. Marti is studying to become a nurse. 

She is pictured here with Renee and Doug LaViolette last week at the award celebration.

We wish you the best of luck Marti!

September 28, 2015

Giving Tuesday!

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection, gratitude and hope.  Black Friday has become more prevalent as the years go on, as does Cyber Monday.  But what about GIVING Tuesday?

GivingTuesday is a global movement that connects diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.  It also brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners— nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, as well as families and individuals—to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness.

GivingTuesday unites countries around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another.  Save the date and the season to join this movement!

Thank you.

September 18, 2015

Reminder for 5k TOMORROW benefiting Brian's Foundation!

Tomorrow's 5k takes place at Green Bay's Austin-Strubel Airport and Jet Air.  You will not only have a chance to run/walk on the airport runway, but enjoy  a party afterwards, including music, food and gathering of a Packer legend and the great community of Green Bay.  All proceeds go to 3 local charities, including Brian's Foundation!

If you would like to join the fun but don't want to participate in the run/walk you are in luck! Spectator tickets will be sold at the gate on Saturday. For a small fee of $10 you will be able to watch the race, enjoy the tailgate party, meet the Packers Legend and enjoy live musical entertainment after the event! Your ticket will also include 1 brat/hot dog and 2 beverages of your choice. WHAT A STEAL!

We hope to see you there!

July 27, 2015

Prevea 5k on September 19th benefiting the Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation!

Have you ever wanted to run on an airport runway? You now have a chance! The second annual Prevea 5K run/walk will take place on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at Austin-Straubel International Airport in Green Bay. 

Thanks to Jet Air Group, Brian's Foundation is one of the beneficiaries of the race! Sign up to run or volunteer here. Please save the date and share with others!
Reasons to sign up now:Run on an airport runway!
  • Party in a 40,000 square foot airplane hangar!
  • Every participant receives a commemorative shirt and winged pin!
  • Enjoy free food and beverages!
  • Listen to live musical entertainment!
  • Meet a Packer's legend and get their autograph!
  • **Support our youth and the mission of the Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation!

A reflection from Brian's cousin and Foundation Board member, Jen Mulhall

"One person can make a difference, and everyone should try." -John F. Kennedy

During my last year of pharmacy school, I rotated through various pharmacy practice settings. One of my supervisors would often ask me at the end of the workday: "Tell me about a difference you made today." I have to admit that there were days I struggled to come up with something. I felt it was difficult to have much of an impact on someone's life while working in a very busy pharmacy.

Looking back, I admire his efforts in trying to reflect on the day in a positive way. We all have things that go wrong during the day. If we make an effort to think about a difference we made in someone's life, it helps to put those bad things in the background, and focus on the good. It doesn't have to be at work - it might be helping an elderly person in the grocery story, walking the neighbor's dog, or reading to a child.

I think my cousin Brian was very good at focusing on the positive, and as a result, was so likable. I wanted to be just like him! He was popular, good at sports, and really smart – yet I don't recall him ever being arrogant about those things. He wouldn't put someone down – on the contrary – he would build others up, support them, and help them become better.

If asked to talk about a difference he made in someone's life, I think Brian would have been able to describe occasions where he did just that on a daily basis. For a young person, that is remarkable. If we look over the past 22 years since his passing, the even more remarkable thing is that he continues to make a difference. Renee, Doug and Kim have taken Brian's positive ideals and spirit, and through the Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation, pass those values along to graduating seniors who aim to make the world a better place.

I'm proud to be a part of the Foundation board. I would like to challenge you all to think about a difference you have made today, and to continue to support the Foundation, to help these extraordinary scholarship recipients make a difference in their careers. -Jen Mulhall

July 3, 2015

The first shots were fired in the Battle of Gettysburg on this signifiant day in history, July 1st 1863.  On the anniversary of this historic day, we are proud to present to you "Gettysburg-The Scholarship of Honor Story" through the eyes and reflection of James McEachin, a decorated Korean War soldier as he walks on Gettysburg's hollowed grounds.

We are forever grateful to the sponsors of this film, Lee and Kathy Anderson.

"We're proud to support the Brian LaViolette Foundation in creating the Gettysburg Scholarship of Honor story on this DVD.  We feel it is so important to share this incredible story that honors all who have served this country in uniform to protect the very freedoms we enjoy.

We would like to dedicate our contribution in memory and in honor of Sgt. Ralph F. Storm, WWII 92 Fighter Squadron, 81 Fighter Group and Captain Lance P. Sijan, Medal of Honor Recipient, U.S. Air Force, Vietnam, and as a special thank you to U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Adam J. Sherwood, for your continuing service ...WE WILL NEVER FORGET"
                                                                            Kathy and Lee Anderson Anderson

There is a more expanded version of the DVD available through the Foundation featuring interviews with Medal of Honor Recipient, Sal Giunta and George Patton Waters- General Patton's Grandson, as well as the full length documentary, "Return to Pilsen: Sharing an American Story".  For more details, please contact us by replying to this email or calling Kim LaViolette at 828-242-3790.

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