Scholarship recipient now in Medical School

2013 Brian LaViolette Scholarship recipient, Luke Buttke updates us on his first semester of Medical School..

Luke Buttke SLU Entrance 2018.jpg

“I was accepted to Saint Louis University for medical school and have just finished my first semester there! I feel like I fit in very well with the mission of the school which is to put humanism in medicine and focus on the patient and their needs. I’ve made a great group of friends that push each other to be as successful as we can and also take an edge off of the stress that comes with being in medical school.

So far I’ve completed statistics, cellular and molecular biology, anatomy, immunology, and am halfway through intro to pharmacology. They have all went really well and it’s been wonderful to begin my journey to becoming a physician. I am currently leaning towards pursuing a residency in emergency medicine, but am keeping my mind open until I go through all of my clinical rotations during my third year.

Thank you for everything you have done for me.”

 
Luke with his parents at his white coat ceremy

Luke with his parents at his white coat ceremy

 

Remember Me

I was told there was a tradition during World War II that when soldiers went off to war, some gave handkerchiefs to the special people in their lives with a poignant embroidered message...Remember Me.  

 
Reuben Remember Me.jpeg
 

We’re not sure if our dear friend, Reuben Schaetzel, ever gave one to someone he loved, but we do know he will be remembered. 

I met Reuben through our friend, John Maino at a Heritage Hill Veterans event in Green Bay that John was hosting.  Reuben was sharing his colorful stories with the audience, lifted right from the pages of John’s book, “Frontlines”.  They revolved around Reuben driving a M4 Sherman Tank under General George S. Patton’s Third Army and ending his service during World War II in a small town called Pilsen in the Czech Republic that his unit helped liberate.  

 
Reuben Pilsen.jpeg
 

Click!  That was the connection, if we really needed something to bring us together. For those of you who knew Reuben he was magnetic, for those of you who didn’t, it’s a shame because he brought so much joy to everyone he met. That included the 17,000 people that bought a car from him over his 60+ year career as an automobile salesman.  He felt the pinnacle of his storied career was selling General Patton’s grandson, Pat Waters, a new Chevy Equinox in 2017.  At 94 years old he was selling cars every day at Buss Chevrolet in Shawano.

 
Reuben and Pat-shaking hands.jpeg
 

Thanks to Mark Leland and WLUK Fox 11, the documentary “Return to Pilsen, Sharing An American Story” aired back in 2013.  Because of that documentary, Kathy and Lee Anderson came into our lives and ultimately into Reuben’s.  

 
The Brian LaViolette Foundation spearheaded the making of the documentary which was premiered at an event on 11.12.13 featuring the Preble Choir.

The Brian LaViolette Foundation spearheaded the making of the documentary which was premiered at an event on 11.12.13 featuring the Preble Choir.

 

Because of the Anderson's kindness, Reuben went to Pilsen twice during their annual Liberation Festival and was honored and adored by hundreds of citizens of the Czech Republic.

 
Reuben with Lee and Kathy Anderson and Stanley Bartl during the Pilsen Liberation Festival

Reuben with Lee and Kathy Anderson and Stanley Bartl during the Pilsen Liberation Festival

 

It was on those Pilsen trips that Reuben became a very close friend of General Patton‘s grandson, Pat Waters. It was a friendship both men cherished.

Last week, God decided he needed a new best friend by his side and Reuben's last full day on earth was Christmas Day.  That seems fitting as well, an Angel being called home that night, the day after the most hallowed day on earth.

After Reuben’s first Pilsen trip he mentioned to his daughters, Gail and Lee Ann that if he died now he would die a happy man but for us it’s so sad to see him leave us. 

 
Tomas Hataj received the 2016 General George S. Patton Scholarship of Honor in Pilsen. He was honored to meet Reuben during the reception.

Tomas Hataj received the 2016 General George S. Patton Scholarship of Honor in Pilsen. He was honored to meet Reuben during the reception.

 

Rest in peace Reuben, you will be missed, but you will be celebrated and remembered forever by those you left behind.

Your friend, 

Doug LaViolette

Because of you, in 2018...

  • 57 students received a scholarship that inspired and financially supported them.

  • Those 57 students joined  781 others who have received scholarships before them for a total of 838 scholarships to date and counting.

  • 78% of the scholarships awarded through Brian's Foundation were presented in honor of someone other than Brian, allowing their spirit to live on. 

  • The total scholarship dollar awarded to date increased to $727,720.

You truly are investing in your community and our future leaders.  Thank you.

As a contributor to the Brian LaViolette Foundation, you become a major part of the life-changing inspiration to individuals throughout the world.  We promise you, that with your help, Brian's Foundation will continue to be a source of inspiration as we invest in leaders who continue to make this world a better place.

Please consider Brian's Foundation in your year-end contributions

Remembering an American hero on Christmas Eve

We were humbled to receive a donation that took our breath away in honor of a true American hero and the wife who stood beside him for over 55 years.

Carl and Helen Kratzer

Carl and Helen Kratzer

Bruce and Carol Valk have supported Brian's Foundation for more than a decade as Bruce also serves on Brian's Foundation Advisory Board.  When it came time for their year-end planning, they decided to donate in honor of Carol's parents, Carl and Helen Kratzer.

Carl was a true American hero having served as a decorated Bombardier in World War II.  It is hard not to be inspired by the heroic actions of Carl Kratzer who served with the 8th Air Force on 30 bombing missions over Europe. 

On one mission to Cologne, Germany, 1st Lieutenant, Carl Kratzer recipient of two distinguished Flying Crosses, an Air Medal along with the WWII Victory Medal his plane was so badly damaged it came down in Belgium but by the grace of God and his parachute training, his entire crew was saved.    

On another critical mission Carl single-handedly patched a landing gear hydraulic line that ultimately led him to being awarded his Second Distinguished Flying Cross. 

1st Lieutenant, Carl Kratzer recipient of two distinguished Flying Crosses, an Air Medal along with the WWII Victory Medal

1st Lieutenant, Carl Kratzer recipient of two distinguished Flying Crosses, an Air Medal along with the WWII Victory Medal

Carl and Helen met and fell in love after the War in Port Washington, Wisconsin where Carl had just opened a soda shop and confectionery business. Helen taught English at the local High School.    

On their wedding day in 1952

On their wedding day in 1952

Carl sold the ice cream business and established Carl's Drive-In in Saukville, WI, which was a truck-stop and burger place.  They never guessed that single burger restaurant would grow to a chain of 22 Burger King's throughout Wisconsin, but it did.

Along the way they would have four loving children, Kris, Steve, Carol and Trina.  Their daughter Trina would be tragically lost to cancer later in life but the joy of their 11 grandchildren continually renewed their spirit.  

Carl and Helen Kratzer with their 11 grandkids

Carl and Helen Kratzer with their 11 grandkids

We are grateful to learn more about Carl, Helen and their family through Bruce and Carol.  It was not only humbling to receive this donation in honor of their loved ones but that they shared their inspirational story with us.

Bruce and Carol Valk with their daughter Sylvia and son Carl

Bruce and Carol Valk with their daughter Sylvia and son Carl

A childhood friend gives back to the green bay area…by Doug LaViolette

For the second time, Brian’s Foundation received a wonderful donation from Frank Frewerd, a gentleman who lives in North Carolina.

Frank Frewerd with his family, Brian, Keri and his late wife Kathy

Frank Frewerd with his family, Brian, Keri and his late wife Kathy

Frank is a boyhood friend  of mine, growing up in Oconto. I actually worked for his father, George W. Frewerd, at a gas station part time after school and on weekends.

His family has a deep heritage of military service. Frank himself served in the Air Force.

I haven’t seen him in a few decades and didn’t even realize he lived in North Carolina until his first donation arrived a couple years ago. 

As with all donations, they are so appreciated because, they are in fact the lifeblood of Brian’s Foundation and the work we do.

We were compelled to not only thank Frank, but also find out why he continues to donate, in part because he is supporting a cause outside of his community in NC.

As it turns out, Frank simply wanted to give back to an area he felt has “brain drain” and wants to keep the hard-working, smart students of Green Bay in the Green Bay area. He went on to say, “you realize many parents have to struggle in their job to help pay for college.  I just wanted to help them.”

Frank has traveled the world in his military service and has seen the good that can come out of helping others.   

He wanted his donation to remember the good in this world, as well as dedicate it to his wife Kathy’s memory.  They had been married for 48 years when she passed on 6.16.16 after a courageous battle with cancer.  

Frank is also very proud of his entire family to include his five granddaughters and we can’t forget – his co-pilot, his dog, Asia

 
Frank’s co-pilot, his dog, Asia

Frank’s co-pilot, his dog, Asia

 
 
Frank’s son, Brian, his wife, Nicol and granddaughters Meredith, Kristina, Catherine, and Madelyn.

Frank’s son, Brian, his wife, Nicol and granddaughters Meredith, Kristina, Catherine, and Madelyn.

 
 
Frank's daughter, Keri, her husband, Brian, and daughter Emma.

Frank's daughter, Keri, her husband, Brian, and daughter Emma.