GREEN BAY, Wisc. (WBAY) This coming Tuesday marks the 25th anniversary of the day that forever changed the lives of a Green Bay family, and hundreds of students around the country.
The milestone anniversary for the Brian Laviolette Scholarship Foundation will come full circle at Lambeau Field.
Doug and Renee LaViolette never made it to Lambeau Field for the Packers preseason game on August 8th, 1992.
Instead, they were in a plane over the waters of Door County where their 15-year old son Brian had gone missing while swimming.
"We had to get out of there because it was getting dark and when we came back, we flew back into Green Bay, but we flew over Lambeau and the lights were lit yet," recalls Doug, Brian's dad.
A few days later, at Brian's funeral, his family and friends made a promise.
"We would accomplish great things in his name and memory," says Doug.
What started as an annual scholarship in Brian's honor quickly grew into a foundation.
"You reach out to others who have gone through terrible things as well and figure out if there's a way to help them get through things and then all of a sudden other scholarships started in memory of someone else and now 78-percent of all of our scholarships or 80-percent, are in honor of someone other than Brian," says Doug.
In 2006, as the foundation continued to grow, providing scholarships in more than a dozen states and 3 foreign countries, Brian's sister Kim, who was 12 when he passed away, became the foundation's one and only employee.
Over the past 11 years she's witnessed firsthand the impact of the nearly 800 scholarships presented.
"It's not just what they do as a career, but also how they are with their families, with their friends, with their communities and how Brian's foundation they still remember and the scholarship they still think about and it influences their life even today," says Kim, who serves as the foundation's Executive Director.
On Tuesday night, more than 300 guests will join the LaViolette's at Lambeau Field for the foundation's 25th anniversary--- a foundation that turned a tragedy into a world of good.
"I think it's going to be a powerful, emotional, fun, funny, reflective time," says Doug with a smile.