BURLINGTON — Less than a month after Ryan Baldera lost his life while cleaning a chemical spill at Buffalo Wild Wings, the Burlington restaurant will host a fundraiser to support his newborn son’s college fund.
From Dec. 2 to 8, the South Street sports bar will donate all of its proceeds — from open to close — to the cause. The fundraiser will also feature a silent auction with signed sports memorabilia, including a jersey autographed by Tom Brady.
“I can’t think of a better cause,” Buffalo Wild Wings District Regional Manager Scot Neri said.
Baldera, 32, of Lawrence, was rushed to Lahey Hospital and Medical Center on Nov. 7 after inhaling a lethal mixture of two cleaning agents. Burlington Fire Chief Michael Patterson said Baldera was attempting to squeegee the chemical out of the building when he was overcome by the fumes.
“That’s what a leader does,” Neri said of Baldera. “Instead of just going outside, he went back in and did what he had to do,” he continued.
Baldera was loved by his coworkers, Neri said. He jumped from manager to general manager in just about a year.
“(Baldera) loved his family, loved working, was a very hard worker, and did everything he was supposed to do,” Neri said.
Neri hopes to raise as much as possible for Baldera’s son, who was about 3 months old at the time of the incident. “It’s up to the people,” Neri said.
A GoFundMe page created on behalf of Baldera’s wife has already raised over $130,000 for the family.
The Burlington Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant will also display a jersey with Baldera’s name on its wall of memorabilia. Baldera was known to love sports and rooted for the Red Sox and the Patriots, according to his obituary.
“We hope that everyday is kind of like a celebration,” Neri said of the upcoming week-long fundraiser.