June 29, 2016

Welcome Larry Lucier to our Advisory Board!

We are proud to announce Larry Lucier has joined our team as an advisory board member!  Brian's Foundation has been dear to Larry's heart and he has been a friend of our family for going on 40 years.

To quote Larry, "I'm very honored to be asked to help with the future direction of The Journey. The growth and expansion of the Foundation over the past twenty-four years has been simply phenomenal, due to the incredible dedication of the LaViolette family and many generous supporters.

The scholarship recipients have crossed many borders throughout the world. Who would have imagined? While Doug and Renee will continue to be the driving spirit of Brian's Foundation, Kimberly LaViolette will assume an even more prominent leadership position in the years ahead. It will be challenging, yet exciting, to assist in drawing the next roadmap of The Journey."

Larry Lucier is President and CEO of Green Bay Seven-Up Bottling Company. Raised in Green Bay and married to Jeanne Lucier, they are proud parents of two children, Alex, Green Bay and Claudine, Austin, Texas. He is a graduate from St. Norbert College, earning a degree in business.

Larry is a long-time parishioner of Resurrection Church and a twenty-five year member of the Allouez Optimist Club. He has served as President of the Seven-up Bottler's Association and on the board of the Wisconsin Soft Drink Association. He has also served as an advisory board member of the YMCA and Wells Fargo Bank. He continues to be active at St. Patrick's Food Pantry.

To relax, Larry's hobbies include international travel, reading, golf, biking, movies, and playing bridge.

June 24, 2016

Can you believe that 767 students have received scholarships through Brian's Foundation?  You are part of something BIG!  

The first scholarship recipient, Todd Simonis is now a minister in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. 

The 297th scholarship recipient, Zach Sites is an EMT in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. 

The 461th scholarship recipient, Andisani Tsengiwe, did his schooling in South Africa.
The 603rd scholarship recipient, Renata Bruzdziak graduated from the University of Warsaw in Poland this past year.

And the 706th scholarship recipient, Donglin Zhang is...

If you are a past scholarship recipient, we'd love to know where you are now... please drop us a quick email to let us know!  

June 2, 2016

You can now find the Foundation on Twitter!


Thank you to Board member, Jen Mulhall for being our Twitter master!

2016 Brian LaViolette Scholarship Recipient!

We had a 'Publishers Clearing House' moment last week. Let me fill you in...

We surprised the 2016 Brian LaViolette Scholarship recipient, Eric Hess of Bay Port High School.  This scholarship award is $10,000 and will go to towards Eric's education at the University of Minnesota where he will study biomedical research. 
In the Partners in Education school district there were 3600 Seniors in the class of 2016.  One was selected to receive Brian's Scholarship. 

Through the administrative help of Partners in Education, one student from the 17 schools in the Green Bay district is asked to apply.  The committee narrows it down to 5 and our family, along with Ashley of Partners in Education interview the finalists. 

 Our surprise happened to be during Eric's choir class.


They even sang us a song!


This was the crew that was a part of the surprise. Bay Port High School's counselors, superintendent, principal and our family. Fun!


We heard from Eric after the surprise...

"Although it is true that the scholarship is certainly rewarding financially, I have to say that I am much more honored by the fact that a family such as yours, which has seen so many possible candidates for scholarships, selected me out of the crowd of many. 

I am still in a little bit of shock over it, because yes, like anyone else, it is easy to doubt myself, but knowing that the foundation has faith in me gives me confidence that I can live out Brian's message in my own life, and no monetary value can be placed on that encouragement."

Congratulations Eric, we look forward to following your Journey!

May 12, 2016

Martin Baxa receives the Brian LaViolette Spirit Award

Martin Baxa epitomizes leadership, dedication and support to the citizens of Plzen, Czech Republic.  For those of you who had the opportunity to hear Plzen's Mayor, Martin Baxa address the audience at the Meyer Theatre in Green Bay Wisconsin on 11.12.13 you may have a better understanding of the man he is.

Deputy Mayor Baxa has passion, compassion and spirit for the American Veterans who liberated Pilsen on May 6, 1945 and the American people today.   As the Mayor of Plzen, he was instrumental in helping to establish the General George S. Patton Scholarship of Honor.  Martin is a history and geography teacher in the secondary schools in Plzen and believes strongly in education.

Martin was presented The Brian LaViolette Spirit award at the 5th annual Scholarship Of Honor reception on May 8, 2016 at the home of Barb and Partrick Foye by Brian's Dad, Doug LaViolette.  He is pictured here with his wife, Simona.

May 10, 2016

Medal of Honor recipient, Tom Hudner honored through the Scholarship of Honor.

Cadet Second Lieutenant (C/2d Lt) Michael Chanda received the Captain Thomas J. Hudner Scholarship of Honor, sponsored by the Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation.
He has actively been a member of Fox Cities Composite Squadron for 4 1/2 years. In that time he has excelled, showing great leadership and dedication to the Civil Air Patrol mission.
C/2d Lt Chanda has served within various positions at our Squadron including; Cadre for Basic Cadet Training, Cadet First Sergeant, Cadet Deputy Commander, and he currently serves as the Cadet Commander. His commitment to Civil Air Patrol also extends outside of our Squadron level; he has attended 4 encampments at Volk Field Air National Guard Base, the Advanced Technology Academy at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado; and Powered Flight Academy in Oshkosh where he earned his solo wings. Cadet Chanda also previously served as the Fox Cities Composite Squadron’s representative to the Wisconsin Wing Cadet Advisory Council. 

He was named the 2015 at FCCS C/Lt Col Christopher R. Koehler Leadership Award recipient. Michael has further served on staff at the Non-commissioned Officer School run by our squadron, sharing his knowledge with cadets across the Wing.
C/2d Lt Chanda enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and is scheduled to report to Basic Military Training in July. He will then attend AF Technical School at Keesler AFB, Mississippi for a 72 week Air Traffic Control course.

April 5, 2016

2016 Scholarship presentation dates!

We started the Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation with one scholarship in Brian's name almost 25 years ago.  Today, nearly 70% of our scholarships are honor of others. We are proud to announce our 2016 scholarship presentation dates...

Don Falk with Ron Sager Scholarship of Honor recipient, Hannah Linebaugh 

Thomas Hudner: Fox Valley Civil War Patrol- April 16th

Sal Giunta: JFK High School, Cedar Rapid, IA- April 25, 6:30 pm

Joel Gentz: Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN- April 30, 6:00 pm  
General George S. Patton: Pilsen, Czech Republic,- May 7th

Victoria Parmentier Scholarship: Ashwaubenon High School, WI-May 11, 6:30

Danny Dietz: Heritage High School, Littleton, CO- May 16, 6:30 pm

Matt Atkinson: Green Bay East High School, WI- May 16, 7:00 pm  

Samantha Rose Cuene: DePere High School, WI- May 17, 6:30 pm

David Parmentier:  DePere High School, WI- May 17, 6:30 pm

Rachel Bosveld: Waupun High School, WI- May 18, 6:00 pm 

Ben Edinger: Green Bay West High School, WI- May 18, 6:30pm 

Ray Zimmerman: Green Bay West High School, WI- May 18, 6:30 pm

John Bradley: Appleton West High School, WI- May 18, 6:30pm

James Cathey: Reno High School, NV- May 18, 6:30 pm

Kyle Hemauer: Chilton High School, WI-May 18 7:00 pm

Ken Kubsch: Manitowoc High School, WI- May 18, 7:00pm

Brent Vroman: Omro High School, WI-May 18, 6:30 pm

Ron Sager: Fox Valley Lutheran High School, WI- May 18, 6:00 pm 

Joe Welke: Rapid City Stevens High School, SD- To be announced

Andrew Brownfield: North High School, Akron OH- May 20, 8:30 am

Robert Foley: United States Military Academy, West Point NY- May 20, 2:00

Isaiah Hunt: Bayport High School, WI- May 20, 9:00 am

Ken Hess: AC Reynolds High School, Asheville, NC- May 23, 6:00 pm

Wendell and Shanna Ellsworth (2 scholarships): Belding High School, MI-     May 25, 7:00 pm 

Ryan Jerabek: Pulaski High School, WI- May 25, 6:00 pm

Nueske Family (2 scholarships): Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School, WI-   May 25, 7:00 pm  

Eric McColley: Gettysburg High School, PA-May 25, 7:00 pm 

Nichole Frye: Lena High School, WI-May 25, 7:30 pm 

Above and Beyond Scholarship: Oconto High School, WI-May 25, 6:30 pm 

Esther Cleveland Safford: Oconto High School, WI- May 25 6:30 pm 

Robert Safford: Oconto High School, WI- May 25, 6:30 pm

"The Journey is the Reward": Oconto High School, WI-May 25, 6:30 pm 

NWTC Scholarship: Oconto High School, WI- May 25, 6:30 pm  

Jerome Hatfield: Tunstall High School, Dry Fork VA- To be announced

Len Keller: Auburn High School, Rockford, IL-To be announced

Brian LaViolette: Partners in Education- To be announced 

Mike Colalillo: Denfeld High School, MN-To be announced 

Ollie and Helen Bogsted: Suring High School, WI- May 28th

"The Journey is the Reward": Suring High School, WI- May 28th

NWTC Scholarship: Suring High School, WI- May 28th

Ken Stumpf, Elmer Burr: Menasha High School, WI-May 31, 9:00 am 

Jesse Thiry: Luxemburg Casco High School, WI, June 1, 9:00 am 

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

LEAP School Science and Math, Cape Town, Republic of South Africa-Summer of 2016

Poland Scholarships (2 Scholarships): Nidzica Foundation Award Ceremony, Nidzica Poland- September 2016

St. Norbert Scholarships (2 Scholarships): DePere, WI --October 2016

Marti Kuimjian, Bellin College recipient with Renee and Doug LaViolette

March 2, 2016

Three community leaders were recognized and presented The Brian LaViolette Spirit Award at our Keys to your Heart event

Three community leaders, Lee and Kathy Anderson and Wm. "Red" Lewis, were recognized and presented The Brian LaViolette Spirit Award at the Valentine’s Day, Keys to your Heart event at The Automobile Gallery.
Wm. "Red" Lewis, Kathy and Lee Anderson
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 selflessly give of themselves to improve their community.

Lee and Kathy Anderson are dedicated to honoring all those who serve our great country in uniform and have a lengthy and widespread history of volunteerism and philanthropy in the Green Bay Community. They are the sponsors of the Scholarship of Honor Story film by the Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation and support today’s Veterans any chance they have.
Lee and Kathy Anderson are proud and excited to support the Engineering Technology program at UW-Green Bay through an endowed scholarship established. The two of them are always seen among the avid fans at UWGB basketball games, or volunteering at the NEW Zoo.

Wm. “Red” Lewis, founder of PDQ Car Wash, PDQ Manufacturing and The Automobile Gallery, has a driven and quiet passion of helping others. Red is known throughout the community for his philanthropic efforts. He was oneof the first car wash companies in the nation to offer scholarships to employees and feels one of his greatest accomplishments is the fact that he has been able to give over 20,000 kids their first job giving them the opportunity to establish a foundation of a lifetime solid work ethic.
Red is also a supporter of the Salvation Army’s Coats for Kids Campaign and Notre Dame Academy.  More recently, Red created The Automobile Gallery, a non-profit organization.  The 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.

All three leaders believe in education and the good in people.  They invest in the future of our communities and have a spirit about them that truly makes a positive impact in this world.

February 22, 2016

We HEART you.

Wow, what a night!  

Over the years, we have hosted many events. They tend to be all consuming for months, with the uncertainty of how they will go. 

As we all gathered at The Automobile Gallery on Valentine's Day, we were once again 'wowed' by the power of community, support and love.  

There were dozens of memorable highlights including a surprise welcome video from Jay Leno and once again Board member, Darrel Burnett worked his magic as the nights Master of Ceremonies. Gary Leidich featured his 1963 Chevy (with 11 original miles!), the family of Bob Nueske shared his Dark Knight and the Gallery showcased an amazing selection of automobiles and its unique space. 
Darrel Burnett highlighted the life of Bob Nueske and his passion for automobiles,including his Bentley Dark Knight

Gary Leidich of Painesville, Ohio shared his story of his treasured 1963 Chevy with WBAY-TV 2 

Our 2014 Brian LaViolette Scholarships recipient, Kelly Szczepanski shared how she makes the most of every day and the impact that Brian's Foundation has made on her life. 

Lee and Kathy Anderson and Red Lewis received the Brian LaViolette Spirit Award for all they do for the Foundation and the community. 

And have we mentioned Bill Jartz?  Wow, what an amazing person and auctioneer. 

Throughout the evening there were many laughs, tears of support and the power of love. 

Executive Director, Kim LaViolette

As I shared with the guests that night, 23 years ago, we never would have thought that losing Brian would have turn into a love story. There is no other way to describe it.  Our Keys to our Heart event was just one chapter in it.    

Please check out all the stunning photos from the night here.  Thank you Bloom Photography by Kara!Our guests can download them for free by click the down arrow on the photo.

January 28, 2016

Remembering heroes in their finest hour

The Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation remembers another hero.  In February of 1952, one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast struck New England, damaging an oil 
tanker off the coast of Cape Cod ripping it in half. On a small lifeboat, Bernard Webber and three other members of the Coast Guard set out in the raging storm rescuing 32 of the 33 stranded sailors trapped aboard the rapidly-sinking vessel.
Webber joined the U.S. Merchant Marine at age 16, volunteering to do his part as the United States waged war on two major fronts in Europe and the Pacific.  Webber's volunteering to serve his country in time need, resulted in his leaving high school before graduating. 
During his 20-year Coast Guard career, Webber rose to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer. Following his time in the Coast Guard, he worked as a boatman for the National Audubon Society, a charter boat captain and a harbormaster, spending a total of 42 years on the water. 

Walt Disney Pictures acquired the screen rights to the novel The Finest Hours, which captures this incredible 1952 rescue and the film will be released today, January 29th, 2016.

To further honor Webber's legacy of heroism, efforts are underway to establish the Bernard C. Webber Scholarship of Honor through the Brian LaViolette Foundation at the Maritime & Science Technology Senior High, commonly referred to as the MAST Academy, a public high school in Miami, FL, which is also a nationally recognized magnet school of excellence.

Retired Coast Guard Captain Robert Grant, who is leading the fund raising effort, stated, "While Webber did not graduate from high school, he would later stress the importance of an education to fellow Coast Guard personnel and did so throughout his career. Therefore, it is very fitting that a Scholarship of Honor be established in his name, to both honor and remember the heroic actions of then Petty Officer First Class Bernard C. Webber and serve as an award to recognize those that plan to enlist in the military or pursue a career in public safety or community service."

The Bernard Webber Scholarship of Honor endowment drive is underway. It will be presented at MAST Academy after the scholarship is fully endowed.  For more information on how you can become involved or donate, please contact me at 828-242-3790 or kim.laviolette@gmail.com