The doors officially opened at 1 p.m. By then, Michaels Eighth Avenue was more than half full. And the line to the pit-beef and oyster-shucking tent outside was well established. Never mind that this was St. Patrick's Day. Local Irish pubs didn't stand a chance against the annual benefit bull and oyster roast put on by Ravens Roost No. 27, the Duane Starks Charitable Foundation and the Cal Ripken Jr. / Lou Gehrig Fund.
"People from Pennsylvania started getting here at 12," said Roost president / event co-chair Marc A. Lombardi. "We've got people driving three hours to get here." Through chilly rain, no less.
In no time, 830 folks had settled in to eat, drink and dance the afternoon away.
Among the happy crowd: Tim Konig, event co-chair; Linda Hovatter, Sue Lombardi and Barbara Hyde, event committee members; Duane L. Starks, former Baltimore Raven / Duane Starks Charitable Foundation president; Willie Starks, Catherine Starks, Darlene Starks and Sharon Starks, Starks Foundation board members; Mike Nolan, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator; Rob Ewing, Ravens Roost No. 4 president; Adrian Mehrling, former Philadelphia Eagle; Michael Fiorelli, Baltimore Bayhawks vice president / general manager; Brian Reese, Mark Frye and Dudley Dixon, Bayhawks players; Jim Hampson, Holidays To Go president; Beverly Clark, Worthington Gardens co-owner; Kenya Brown, U.S, Department of Justice senior programmer; Allen Tulkoff, Tulkoff Products Co. secretary / treasurer; Laurie Hoffman, American Express financial adviser; Rick Schluderberg, Baltimore City Firefighters Local No. 734 president; Nancy Boccia, Styles By Nancy & Co. owner; Ginny Covey, Phoenix-based wildlife artist; Debra Lazo, retired Anne Arundel County teacher; Frank Piccolino, Towson Sedan driver; Joe Parker, Net Versant security installer; and Fred Lori, Northrop Grumman software engineering manager.
The afternoon shindig raised $18,000 for Starks Charitable Foundation, Glen Lutheran Church and Cal Ripken, Jr. / Lou Gehrig Fund for Neuromuscular Research.