LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Twenty-five years ago, Tony Abou-Ganim came to Las Vegas because Steve Wynn wanted an expert to create a specialty cocktail for the newest casino resort on the Strip: The Bellagio Hotel and Casino.

Today, Abou-Ganim continues to shake up the industry as a well-known mixologist.

Making drinks is what Abou-Ganim is known for. It is more than just his profession, it is his passion. Curating cocktail lists around the county is what landed him here in Las Vegas.

“I did Iron Chef America three times,” Abou-Ganim told 8 News Now.

As the “Modern Mixologist,” he’s also a partner with libertine social and behind some of the most well-known libations in the city.

“I get to do the drinks for the Raiders and the Golden Knights.”

He is a pioneer in the industry, but he said his passion for hospitality took hold at the Brass Rail bar in Port Huron, Michigan.

That is where his cousin Helen David, the owner, showed him the ropes. Abou-Ganim told 8 News Now that Helen treated everyone behind the bar and in the booths like family, and always with a smile.

“Helen would say, treat your guests at the bar the way you would guests in your home.”

Her coined phrase was simple: “happiness.”

“That was Helen’s toast to everybody. She would just say, happiness.”

Helen opened The Brass Rail all the way back in 1937 with her mother.

“She was really an advocate for getting women behind the bar back when you didn’t see that much,” Abou-Ganim said.

Helen fought and beat breast cancer not once, but twice. When she passed away at age 91, she had certainly made her mark.

“There wasn’t a volleyball team, softball team, men’s hockey league that she didn’t sponsor,” Abou-Ganim said. “They made a day, a Helen David day. This is the plaque that’s downtown Port Huron.”

Now with a special pink concoction, Abou-Ganim is celebrating his cousin’s legacy.

In her honor, he started the Helen David Relief Fund to help bartenders and their families going through cancer treatment.

“The rent still has to get paid,” Abou-Ganim explained. “Your kid needs new shoes. You need a wig. We alleviate some of that unnecessary stress.”

The non-profit is Abou-Ganim’s way of giving back to the industry he loves in homage to a woman who inspired so many.

“If I make you a great cocktail, it’s a lasting memory.”

The Helen David Relief Fund is run through the U.S. Bartenders Guild. On Oct. 29, there is a charity bike ride to raise money for the grant program.

If you would like to participate, here is a link to join Abou-Ganim’s group: Team Happiness.