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.


Today and everyday, we'd like to say "Thank You."

On this Veterans Day, we not only give thanks to the men and women we pay tribute to through the Scholarship of Honor program, but to all who have served and are currently serving to protect us.

15 years ago this week, the Brian LaViolette Foundation established the Scholarship of Honor Program.  It is an award that honors the service and sacrifice of our past and present military heroes.  At the same time, the scholarship recognizes a graduating high school senior with plans to enlist in the military or pursue a career in public safety or community service. 

Thanks to hundreds of donors, 302 Scholarships of Honor have been awarded nationwide. It's with a great deal of pride these annual scholarships allow families, friends, communities and students to give thanks and remember those who serve.

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You can learn more about the scholarships in this program and those we honor, here.

The Scholarship of Honor Mission
To honor, to remember, those who serve while recognizing dedication,  community service and selflessness in those who follow in their footsteps

74th scholarship awarded in Poland

Natalia Roska and Karolina Idzikowska received our 2018 International Scholarship of Honor in Nidzica, Poland. Brian's Foundation has been awarding scholarships in Poland for 16 years.

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Natalia (left) is studying Linguistics in business at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn.

Karolina (right) is studying Economics and Management and production engineering at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn.

These scholarships are made possible by Darlene Nueske and Mike and Sue Smullen. The recipinets are pictured during the scholarship presentation with the Vice Governor of The Nidzica County, Leszek Brzozowski and the President of the Nidzica Community Foundation, Barbara Margol.

Kate Russell, the 2018 Danny Dietz Scholarship of Honor recipient sent us a note on her first week of college... 

"I wanted to give you a quick update on how life at University of Portland is going. I finished my first week at school and I am loving it! My intro to engineering class is super interesting and we are going to soon start on our projects for the semester, which are building our own small wind turbines.

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Other than that I am enjoying the beautiful weather in Portland and meeting a bunch of new people! Here are some pictures from my orientation weekend! 

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Glad to hear all is well Kate!  Thank you for the update.

26 years ago...


26 years ago today we woke up to the reality Brian was gone.  The news of his drowning was just starting to filter out into the community.  The search and rescue teams were out on the Bay of Green Bay and they would continue the search for 5 grueling days. Brian would eventually be found by a volunteer boater, who happened to be his 6th grade teacher.  Our family was so blessed by the family, friends and the community who surrounded us during this time of shock and sadness.

Thanks to the many donors at Brian’s memorial service, the Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation was created in 1992.  That next Spring the first annual Brian LaViolette Scholarship was awarded at DePere High School.  At that time, we would have never dreamed that so many great things would happen with the Foundation.  On the day of Brian’s funeral, we promised that in his name and memory we would accomplish great things.  And thanks to you, we have been able to keep that promise.  838 Scholarships have been awarded to date for a total of $727,720.

One scholarship a year has turned into over 55 annually.  We have heard from people and students all around the world how they have been inspired by Brian and the Foundation.  And just as importantly, we have been inspired by all of you. On a daily basis we are reminded of hope, love and commitment.  Thank you.