Almost one year ago, Milford lost a beautiful soul. Vigils were held, tears were shed, and cross-town rivals came together to support each other in light of such a horrible tragedy. We received condolences from other high schools and communities, and we were grateful to receive such beautiful messages. We wore endless amounts of purple. We pinned purple, black, and gold ribbons on our backpacks. It was all to honor the life of an incredible girl named Maren Victoria Sanchez.
She was born on August 26, 1997, and she grew up in Milford. Fun, energetic, and uplifting are only a few words which could describe her. She was a singer, and her performance of “Home” by Phillip Phillips at Jonathan Law showed just how incredibly talented she was. It has come to be the song which will always make us think of her.
She was also an actress, and she participated in the school plays as a member of the drama club. Anyone who saw her act said she lit up the stage. The Law Drama club was doing “Little Shop of Horrors” last year, and Maren was supposed to play a puppeteer. The play was dedicated to her when it was performed.
Maren was extremely gifted and involved in the community. She was a member of the National Honor Society and the manager of the swim and softball teams. She was the president of her freshman and sophomore class. She had a passion for photography, and she attended the prom in the previous year as a photographer. She was greatly admired for her dedication and work ethic.
Tragically, we lost her on April 25th, just mere hours before she was supposed to attend her prom alongside her classmates and have the time of her life. We were shocked, heartbroken, and grief-stricken. It was unbelievable that something so terrible could happen to someone so amazing. She was taken away from us far too soon. She had aspirations to be a veterinarian, and she deserved to live a long, happy life in which she could continue to inspire those who were lucky enough to cross her path.
In the wake of such a horrid incident, the Jonathan Law community stood together and became a force to be reckoned with. They sang Maren’s favorite songs in the hallways, and they kept her in mind when they competed on the field, court, track, or rink. The athletes told themselves and their teams, “Let’s play for Maren”. They attended the “Music for Maren” concert, which the radio station Star 99.9 held in the Law auditorium. A Great Big World performed some of Maren’s favorite songs at the event. They went ice-skating at the Milford Ice Pavilion for the “Skate for Maren” event, and celebrated their precious time with their classmates, the way Maren would have if she had been here. They dedicated a garden to her on the campus, and they congregated around it to pay tribute to her life. Law inspired us to stay strong and support each other, and Foran, as well as the entire Milford community, salutes them for their courage.
The Foran student body and faculty were hand-in-hand with Law. We made sure to honor their loss in any way we could, whether it was putting Maren stickers on our sports helmets, paying tribute to her on our post prom T-shirts.
Today, Maren’s spirit lives on in everyone in this town. It will be one year since she has been gone, but her legacy will live on for years to come. The 5K Run to Benefit the Maren Sanchez Memorial Scholarship Fund will be held Saturday, April 25 at Jonathan Law.
There will also be a carnival to benefit the Maren Sanchez Memorial Trust Fund on May 29th to May 31th at Walnut Beach. Please make your way over there for the Memorial Weekend and enjoy your time with your friends and family.
In the past year, the Milford community has been brought closer, and we have Maren to thank for that. We will honor her beautiful life to best of our ability, and we will continue to stay grateful for those who are in our lives today.