Milestone reached for charitable foundation in Green Bay area, hoping to change lives

Local News

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) – A milestone for the local group formed in honor of a local boy, gone too soon. Wednesday the Brian LaViolette foundation, proudly presented their 1,000th scholarship.

When Brady Wittig walked into Ashwaubenon High School, he wasn’t expecting to be the focus of attention. But that’s what happens when you’re awarded a $10,000 scholarship.

“I saw my parents’ cars and I thought this is kind of weird. But I definitely wasn’t expecting this. I’m kind of speechless,” said Wittig.

Wittig was this year’s recipient of the Brian LaViolette Foundations, Brian LaViolette Scholarship, presented by Brian’s father, who lost his son in a swimming accident in 1992.

“When Brian died, we promised him that we’d accomplish great things and today we feel that this is one of the greatest things we could ever do,” said Doug LaViolette.

The foundation was formed shortly after Brian’s tragic death and the scholarship awarded was the 1,000th given out by his family.

“The impact they’ve had on others’ lives in Brian’s name, it’s really inspiring to be able to take that kind of pain and turn it into that amount of impact,” said Eric Vanden Heuvel with Partners in Education from the Greater Green Bay Chamber.

To date LaViolette says the foundation has awarded over $900,000 to help others chase their dreams, something his young son urged all to do.

“Brian once said no matter what you do or where you go, try your hardest at everything you do. It can take you places you never dreamt of,” said LaViolette.

And LaViolette says Wittig has the same thirst for knowledge as his son.

“I think it’s just really amazing what they’ve been able to do in their foundation and the values that they hold,” said Wittig.

“The world today needs hard working, bright students,” said LaViolette. “We know Brady will be one of those students.”

Wittig is going to attend college at UW-Madison where he’ll study biomedical engineering.

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