It all started with the role models of his parents, especially his mother who was very active in cultural and community activities when Eric was growing up in the '60s and '70s. "I know my passion for community involvement comes from my parents. As a kid, I remember my parents hosting parties year-round for different organizations, and my mom chaired many committees for the local symphony, arts councils, and she even had small parts in several musical productions," he said.
When Eric was in college, he was invited to his first gala benefit in Birmingham. It was on an early Sunday afternoon, and he wore a tuxedo his grandfather had originally hand-tailored for Eric's father many years before. The event was the kick-off fundraiser to restore the historic Alabama Theatre, a venue similar to the famous Fox Theatre in Atlanta (another place Eric lived before Denver). Fannie Flagg (a native Alabamian like Eric) was the honorary chairperson. Eric managed to get a picture taken with her which the local newspaper featured on the front page of the society pages!
"I told her I often watched the TV game show 'Match Game' after school and she got a big laugh from that memory I shared. It was an afternoon to remember; it was the first time I had met a celebrity!" he said.
Eric has been an active volunteer with the Colorado Humane Society, Colorado Business Council, Colorado AIDS Project, Imagine Peace Foundation, Gender Identity Center, and Project Angel Heart. This year, he is co-chair of "Art for Life" for Project Angel Heart. In the past, he was involved with the group's events such as Shopping For Life, Taste For Life, and participating in AIDS Walk Colorado.
Eric's biggest accomplishment recently was for the newly-formed Imagine Peace Foundation, which hosted the first annual "Wings of Unity" fund raiser, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Arun Gandhi of The Gandhi Institute. In less than eight weeks he garnered more than 175 auction items!
The next big focus for Eric is helping the Gender Identity Center raise funds and gain greater awareness in the community.
Favorite Restaurant? Watercourse Foods and Dixon's
Who is the most interesting celebrity you ever met? Elton John; he's very easygoing, has a great sense of humor. A close second would be Angela Bowie, David Bowie's ex-wife. We hung out over coffee at a bookstore in Atlanta, and she told me stories from her days in 1960s London. Pretty wild stuff!
If a movie were made of your life, who would play your part? Hugh Jackman, he's very talented AND good-looking
Do you have any Pets? A dog and three cats
What is the greatest gift you have ever given? Commitment ring to my partner, Mark
What is the greatest gift you have ever received? Commitment ring from my partner, Mark
What one-word/words describe you best? Devoted
What word/words would you like others to use to describe you? Hard-working
What was your first job? Sales clerk at Pier One Imports
When you move, what will your home tell its next owner, about you? Colors lift the spirit
What is your greatest indulgence? CDs
What or who is the greatest love of your life? Mark and my family in Birmingham, Alabama
What do you consider your greatest achievement? I don't think I'm there yet
What is the quality you most like in a man? Honesty
What is the quality you most like in a woman? Honesty
Favorite books / Writers? Anything by Pema Chodron, The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho, Consider This Senora by Harriet Doerr
What is the best advice you have ever received? Actions speak louder than words.
Which social event is your favorite? Dining Out For Life hosted by Project Angel Heart
What is your motto? "Can't do is like don't care, neither of them have a home." (said by Maya Angelou's mother)