All the big shots showed up last night to wish community leader Sally Michel a happy birthday and to give Roland Park a shot in the arm at “Fill Sally’s Purse,” a fundraiser for the Parks & People Foundation at Petit Louis Bistro. Governor Martin O’Malley, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore Community Foundation President Tom Wilcox, Abell Foundation President Bob Embry, Maryland Institute College of Art President Fred Lazarus and more filled the restaurant to capacity.
The event was conceived by Michel after she and a friend were robbed of a purse last month outside the popular eatery in the typically low-crime neighborhood of Roland Park. Following the theft, she told The Baltimore Sun, “This is ridiculous, with all the other things going on the city…I love that restaurant, and I don’t want it to be damaged. It’s just some little old community volunteer and some little old principal, and we got robbed, and we’re doing fine. I don’t want this damaging the community that I love.”
A source from the foundation said she was inspired to initiate the event to encourage people to return to her beloved neighborhood and the restaurant following the crime. It also happened to be her 74th birthday.
Petit Louis donated 20 percent of all checks last night to Parks & People, where Sally is co-founder and head of the board. No word yet on how much money Sally’s many friends raised, but we’ll let you know as soon as we know.
Police kept a close watch on the restaurant after the January 31 holdup. Last night, some patrons noticed “a large presence of under cover police at the entrance with buttons in their ears and many cop cars patrolling,” as one emailed to me this morning. Despite the intrigue, rumor has it that it was just routine security detail for the governor.