One of my dear friends, Erik Baylis, has persevered as a card-carrying member of the latter category, inspiring me and many others along the way.
My relationship with Erik began when he was hired to manage the existing BOTG properties and to help grow the business. Truth be told, I was not particularly involved in his hiring or working with him early on. I did not get to know Erik well until the Wells Street Companies partnership dissolved, putting us in regular contact.
I had known that shortly after his hiring that Erik had battled throat cancer. What I only learned as we became friends were the challenges he faced early on in his life, his unique spirit and his determination to provide others with the help and opportunities that he might not have enjoyed.
One of the ways Erik expresses his spirit for giving is by sponsoring an annual fundraiser at Fatpour to support Stand Up to Cancer. For obvious reasons, Erik is passionate about helping those working to find a cure for cancer. This year the annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Party raised over $17,000 on a snowy night to support cancer research and, locally, the Lurie Cancer Center’s amazing oncology nurses.
The evening, which featured photos with Santa, a silent auction and the ugliest holiday sweaters in Chicago, was a great success as the photos below suggest. In the months ahead Erik will be sharing the details on a new foundation he has founded which will provide young people with opportunities for personal, educational and professional growth. Sporting Erik’s personal motto, Never Had a Bad Day, the Baylis foundation will embody Erik’s loving and relentless approach towards life.
It is an honor to serve on the foundation’s Board of Directors and to help Erik realize his vision for the Never Had a Bad Day foundation. I’m excited to work with him to make NeverHadaBadDay.org the success it deserves to be.
|The silent auction drew strong interest and participation|
|Having fun for a very good cause, Stand Up 2 Cancer|
|Erik Baylis, Chairman Baylis Foundation and Stand Up 2 Cancer event organizer|
|Robin Holmer and Arthur Holmer, Director, the Baylis Foundation and Never Had a Bad Day|
|Lindsey Hom of Boardwalk Capital Management|