Marking one year since a Milford teen was stabbed to death in her high school, friends and family gathered to celebrate her life on Saturday.
The event, called Peace, Love, and Music from Maren, showcased some of Maren Sanchez’s favorite high school activities. There was a 5K run, a street art exhibit featuring some of her own works and musical acts throughout the day at Jonathan Law High School.
Purple balloons dotted the softball field and many people wore the color, which was Sanchez’s favorite.
The school’s principal, Fran Thompson, said in the days after Sanchez’s death the community rallied around the school.
So, this was a way to give back to the city. There were also food trucks, a raffle and 18 inflatables.
The day was less about mourning a loss and more about celebrating what Maren loved.
“I think it’s just clearly evident the impact she made on Milford, and Milford rallied together for her. She’s a great girl,” said former classmate Gabrielle Verdura.
Chloe Soto’s older sister was Sanchez’s best friend.
“It was very hard on all of us,” Soto said of finding out that a fellow classmate had stabbed Sanchez in the school’s hallway hours before her junior prom.
Many of her friends said her death was still too difficult for them to talk about.
An avid artist, Maren didn’t limit herself, also participating in academics and athletics outside of class.
“She was a photographer, she was a singer, she was a manager of the swim team and the softball team,” said Thompson. "The thing I remember most about Maren was just how kind she was. She was the type of person who transcended all areas."
Many spoke of Sanchez’s personality.
“She always had a smile on her face. Always,” said Verdura.
“She opened up to us and welcomed us, and she was really funny and nice even though they were all upper classmen,” added Colleen Goodwin, a freshman who took drama with Sanchez.
Friends said the outpouring of support Saturday was a testament to how much Maren was liked.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com