Although Mark will always be remembered for his leadership on the ice, it was his unwavering leadership off the ice that made him such a unique individual. His relentless efforts to help children success whether in athletics or academics are what his foundation strives to duplicate. The following excerpts are a small sample of the thousands of letters received by the Bavis family and serve as testimony to Mark’s determination to help children make a better life for themselves.
…he served as a role model for the many young people he came in contact with. Many of the letters that our family has received have been from parents of young people that Mark coached. They speak of how Mark served as a friend and confidant and of how much of a positive impact he made in the development of their sons and daughters
We first met Mark in 1999. He was scouting our son Chris for the Chicago Freeze team. At the time Chris was only 15 years old and we were very concerned about him leaving home. Chris also had the opportunity to be drafted into the OHL and give up his college eligibility. Mark was very instrumental in Chris’ ultimate decision. Our son decided that he wanted to go to Chicago and play for Mark. Mark went out of his way to speak with Chris and give him some “tips” on what the “big schools” and “pros” were looking for in a player like Chris. He also encourage Chris to complete his application to Harvard University. Each time we spoke with Mark, we felt that Chris had made the right decision. He made Chris feel that he truly believed in him as a hockey player and in turn, it gave Chris confidence in himself.
-The Trick Family
Mark was a person that I had the utmost respect and admiration for during his time here at Harvard. He instilled in the athletes, his sense of pride and respect fro the game of hockey, as well as life values that are difficult to impart to young athletes. He was certainly a great ambassador for the game of hockey, and touched all of us who had the pleasure of knowing him.
-Dick “Emmo” Emerson, Sports Medicine, Harvard
There are certain people we meet in life that we never forget: maybe it’s someone we meet at a bus stop, an old business associate, or maybe it’s someone that we meet and know in college, for just one semester.. We were in class together in 90/91. We exchanged some notes, spoke on the phone once or twice and when the semester was over – we lost touch- but I never forgot you Mark and you Mike. As time passed, I’ve come to believed that people who come in and out of lives, however brief, offer us the opportunity to enrich our souls. Meeting Mark and you enriched my soul.
-Michael Ferrantino, CAS 92
Just over two years ago I had the opportunity ti meet your son and brother, Mark. I was playing midget hockey and, at the time, he was coaching for the Chicago Freeze. His tremendous knowledge for the game was not the only aspect that attracted me to Mark or the Freeze. It did not take long for me to realize that Mark was a phenomenal human being as well. He talked to me and shared with me his knowledge for the game. He is the reason I am where I am today. Mark was a man whom I had the ultimate respect for. I wanted to take this time to let you know how he touched my life. I will never forget the eighth of September,, 2001. That was the day Mark found me at the rink to talk. It meant a lot to me that he went our of his way to do that. Mark was a real man and he will be forever missed.
-Chris Trick, Chicago Freeze, #7