We believe in the City of Baltimore and its people. Indeed, it is their initiative, resilience, and hard work that fuel and sustain the projects profiled in these pages. From the creative financing of local entrepreneurs and improvements to the City’s green infrastructure, to the tenacious efforts to prevent homelessness, reform our broken parole system, and teach young, struggling readers, Baltimoreans are doing the hard work of improving the quality of life for their City’s residents each and every day.
Baltimore—and the Abell Foundation—lost two of its most passionate advocates and model citizens in 2018: Sally J. Michel and Gilbert Sandler. A trustee of the Abell Foundation from 1991 to 2014, Sally was a civic activist who established the Parks & People Foundation and Superkids Camp, while serving on the board of 57 local and state organizations and chairing 19 of them. She was a tireless volunteer and an energetic optimist.
Gil Sandler served as the Foundation’s communications officer from 1990 to 2014, but he is more widely known as the creative spirit behind “Baltimore Stories.” In those stories, shared in a column of the Baltimore Sun or on the airwaves of WYPR, Gil took a nugget of history—an evening at Haussner’s, a performance at the Royal Theater, or the City College prom—and extracted from it the humor and nostalgia of our shared humanity. His stories reminded us of who we are, where we come from, and what we mean to each other.
We miss Sally and Gil, but we hold on to the lessons they taught us: Believe in the city and its people, dig deep and work hard, and maintain an optimistic faith in the future. We seek to honor their memories with our work.
We are proud to share this report of our activities in 2018.