Chris Bayliss, the executive director of the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau, is pictured in this file photo.
Ward Perrin / PROVINCE
Chris Bayliss, the executive director of the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau, suffered serious back injuries during a motorcycle crash.A prominent figure in the B.C. Christmas charity community has been injured in a serious motorcycle accident.Chris Bayliss, the longtime executive director of the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau, suffered serious back injuries during a motorcycle crash Friday while travelling through Idaho toward Montana. Bayliss had told friends he was road tripping with a cousin.Bayliss was taken to St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula, Montana and is awaiting back surgery.LMCB board chair Susan Levang said Bayliss is conscious and has spoken to family members.“Thankfully, his spinal cord was not injured,” said Levang in a statement. “A decision is expected soon on whether he will undergo surgery in the United States or can be moved to Canada. We wish him well for a speedy recovery.”No further information was available about the initial crash.
Chris Bayliss, executive director of the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau (left) in with Stephen D’Souza of Burnaby Community Services in Vancouver in 2016.
NICK PROCAYLO /
Bayliss has worked with the Christmas Bureau on its front line team since 1990 and has held the executive director role since 1999. He has volunteered for more than three decades in the Renfrew Heights community, serving with the Trojan Football Club and working to promote safety and awareness with the B.C. Coalition of Motorcyclists.Bayliss is often known as “Mr. Christmas” for his work with the Vancouver-based Christmas bureau, which receives support from The Province’s annual Empty Stocking Fund.“Chris is an invaluable member of the bureau and driving force behind the operations of this much-loved organization. As we continue to prepare for the LMCB Toy Run and the busy Christmas season, we know that our volunteers, supporters and staff will assist us in Chris’ absence,” said Levang.In a 2015 interview with The Province, Bayliss emphasized Christmas bureaus and his motivation for working with the LMCB isn’t just about numbers and figures.“We do this one toy, one child, one family at a time — that’s what all the bureaus do. We just get the toys out to the kids,” he said.“It doesn’t matter about your social, economic, ethnic situation — a child is a child at Christmas time and they all want that toy under the tree. And that’s what we do.”The Province’s Empty Stocking Fund is scheduled to return later this firstname.lastname@example.org/stephanie_ip