Internationally renowned photographer is inspired by Brian’s story

Photographer Nick Del Calzo travels the country. His photography tells personal, deeply emotional stories.

Nick started as a journalist and moved to public relations yet he felt unfulfilled until he picked up a camera . He has photographed Holocaust survivors and Medal of Honor recipients. Last week, Nick photographed Doug LaViolette as part of his portraits of people who inspire and impact him.

"I'm thrilled to have that opportunity to do it as a gift for them for what they've helped me do," says Nick.

Nick DelCalzo

Nick DelCalzo

Doug LaViolette is the President of the Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation. In 1992, Brian died in a swimming accident when he was 15-years old. His family made it their mission to honor Brian's life by helping others succeed.

“When I receive the phone call from Nick DelCalzo a couple of months back that he wanted to photograph me I was stunned.  I believe I actually laughed out loud and said  “why me of all people?”  After Nick explained more details that he is creating a series of portraits of individuals who have made an impact on his life I was clearly moved. 

It was such a humbling experience to be included in the company of the extraordinary people whom he has photographed.  Nick did not disappoint with his attention to detail, thoughtfulness and incredible care in creating my portrait.  It was wonderful because it gave us a chance to have a lot of quiet time together, something we’ve really never experienced in the decade and a half since I’ve known him.  

Nick DelCalzo camera.jpeg

Please click on the link below for the full story by Sarah Thomsen that aired on WBAY-TV2 this past Friday.

Link to full story HERE

At Brian's funeral came a promise to accomplish great things in his name and memory. The Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation has granted 892 scholarships to students.

These people receive these scholarships and ... did that impact that for a higher purpose? I don't know," says Doug. "But it is pretty amazing."

Doug is still emotional to talk about his son. However, Doug is smiling in his portrait. He's proud of what he's accomplished in Brian's name. He also holds a sculpture depicting the void a family feels when losing a child.

The ripple effect of these good deeds are felt far beyond the room. "It goes on and on and on. It really does," says Doug.

A seed is planted

We met Rose Scannell in 2005 after her son, Ben was killed in the War in Iraq.

Friends, family and the community came together to help establish the Ben Edinger Scholarship of Honor through Brian's Foundation at Green Bay West High School in 2005.

Rose has been involved with the scholarship process since the beginning.

Rose and Nikita.JPG

Rose was asked what impact she feels Brian's Foundation has had...

"The Brian LaViolette Foundation has an impact that no one will really be able to quantify.

  • There are people like me and my family.

  • Then there are the recipients who have the ability to go to school.. that impacts that individual and every person that individual touches.

  • Those individual involved in the Foundation, which are so many community members... They really care.

  • But there is more. Those people at the awards night- just at West High School-every year and then multiple that by every school... I can't even imagine.

A seed is planted they have information they didn't have before. Their hearts are touched in a way that they weren't touched before and they take that

information and that feeling with them and there is no way to know where all those ripples and all those effects go, but they are all there and it is all so positive.

So that is what I see."

Learn more about Rose's experience about having a scholarship in her son, Ben's name in this 5 minute video.

“I was nervous at first”, update from 2018 scholarship recipient

Hello Doug, Renee, Kim and the rest of the Foundation!

Before the semester gets going too fast, I wanted to take a moment to share with you what’s going on in my life at the moment.  I am starting my second year at UW-Madison and as of last semester I have fully transitioned into the computer science major and I’m considering a double major in Political Science. I loved my computer classes last semester, so I think this will be a great fit. 

Bailey received the Brian LaViolette Scholarship in 2018. He is pictured here with his parents (left) and Doug and Renee LaViolette

Bailey received the Brian LaViolette Scholarship in 2018. He is pictured here with his parents (left) and Doug and Renee LaViolette


It was a very difficult decision for me, but this summer I decided to stay and work in Madison.  I was nervous at first—most of my friends went back home to see their families and meet up with friends from high school.  However, it ended up working out!  I took another computer course, got promoted to student manager at the IT Help Desk where I work and I met so many new people here in Madison.  Not to mention, I experienced the fun the city has to offer in the warm weather, music at the terrace, walks by Lake Mendota and the Capitals Farmer’s Market to name a few.

Bailey with UW-Madison, Bucky Badger

Bailey with UW-Madison, Bucky Badger


Switching gears to this semester, I already love my professors from my first day of class yesterday.  For example, my philosophy professor started out class by playing an electric violin!  I also have been working with a couple friends from work to start a new IT service management company. 

Bailey with his sister and mom

Bailey with his sister and mom


I want to thank you all again for helping me to pursue my education here at UW-Madison.  I am so grateful that I am able to go to class every day and learn just a little more about the subjects I enjoy.  Thank you so much for everything you do! 


Bailey Conradt, 2018 Brian LaViolette Scholarship Recipient

P.S. I hope you like the paper I am writing on’ it’s a gift from my girlfriend, Madeline, and she insists we use it for our eventual presidential run (she’d be president of course!)


Two Scholarships awarded in the country of Poland

Last weekend two scholars in Nidzica, Poland received the International Scholarship of Honor through Brian’s Foundation. Brian’s Foundation has been awarding scholarships in Poland for the last 17 years, awarding nearly 75 scholarships during that time.

The recipients are Natalia Roska who is studying Linguistics in business in her 2nd year at The University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. Karolina Idzikowska studying management and production engineering in her 2nd year at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn.

Poland 2019 Karolina Idzikowska,  Natalia Roska .JPG

These scholarships are made possible by Darelne Nueske and Dr. Mike and Sue Smullen.

Pictured here are: Bozena Szczypinska - Vice President of the Associated Bank in Nidzica, Barba Margol - President of the Nidzica Community Foundation, Justyna Kowalczyk - Board Member of the NIDA Foundation, Natalia Roska, Karlina Idzikowska, and Pawel Przybylek - vice Governor of Nidzica County.