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Norwalk Spear

Norwalk Spear

Miles for Margo

How Norwalk citizens honored the life of retired Norwalk educator Margo Murillo with a walk around the water
Carrie Krupke
Miles for Margo attendees gather for a photo on Saturday, Oct. 21 at Elizabeth Holland Park in Norwalk. There were around 100 participants with nearly 100 T-shirts sold for the event.

A 5K fundraising walk was held on Oct. 21 at Elizabeth Holland Park in Norwalk to honor and celebrate the life of retired speech and drama teacher, Margo Murillo, who unexpectedly passed away in August at age 64.

“For us, for a family, it was just a really nice way to honor her,” said Margo’s sister-in-law, Tracy Murillo. “I thought I would be sad, but it was such a good day. We felt like her spirit was with us.”

Tracy said the event was inspired by Margo’s love for walking, combined with her passion for the Norwalk English Language Learners. All funds collected from the walk went towards a college scholarship fund for the English students and their families.

“I was on a walk with my dog one day, just visiting a neighbor, and I thought it would be a really neat idea if we could do some kind of a walk for Margo,” she said. “And, raise money for ELL, which was a big passion of Margo’s.”

Tracy said Margo usually walked four miles a day, but later started walking seven. 

“We’ve been walking together for thirty years,” she said. “All of a sudden, I even called her out on it, I said ‘are you walking seven miles?’ I almost felt like she was cheating on me,” she said. “I think she knew that that was kind of excessive, but she loved it.”

Tracy said Margo’s biggest passion was her love for the community around her.

“She always had strong connection to the community,” she said. “She even said that the week before she died. She was such a giver, and such a nurturing soul.”

In addition to Margo’s love for the community, Tracy said Margo was always busy helping others.

“She was always talking about volunteering and all of the things that she did,” she said. “I swear it would take 10 people to do all of the things she was doing. She made everybody feel special.”

A group of Margo’s family and friends worked together to make the event happen. Becky Darnell, friend of Margo’s, said the walk was a great way to honor her legacy.

“It was very healing,” she said. “Just to rejoice in what we were doing, and to pay honor to Margo. We hoped she was watching.”

Darnell said the walk was a very flexible event, giving the attendees their own freedom to connect with Margo.

“We said 5K, but we gave people a lot of options,” she said. “One was to do virtually if they wanted to, one was to do the 5K, or do whatever length of walk you wanted. It wasn’t timed, just very relaxed.”

Like Margo and other volunteers, Darnell is involved with ELL and collecting money for the scholarship fund. Darnell said it was clear Margo loved the group. 

“Margo worked with some of the students, but definitely the parents of the students that we helped go to college,” she said. “In regard to the walk, it is wonderful to add to our scholarship fund. But I thought the comradery was so special.”

She is just one of those people you won’t forget. I hope the family feels loved – nurtured a little bit – I just don’t want to let them go.”

— Becky Darnell

Darnell said she hopes Margo’s legacy is continued beyond this event.

“Her spirit will just be with me always,” she said. “I was involved with her a lot, and she is just one of those people you won’t forget. I hope the family feels loved – nurtured a little bit – I just don’t want to let them go.”

Tracy said Margo’s story can teach us all a lesson about the importance of those around you.

“One thing that is something that we all do is take people for granted in your life, you think they’re always going to be there,” she said. “Margo was so humble, she just did not know her worth.”

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About the Contributor
Taylor Stanley, Editor
Taylor Stanley is a senior at NHS and editor for The Spear. Stanley is a second-year journalism student, and has been published in other publications such as the Warren Town and County News. Outside of the newsroom, Stanley is involved in marching, concert, and jazz band. “Something interesting about me is I have been to six countries outside of the U.S.,” she said. Stanley intends to major in journalism in college, and believes The Spear is a great way to learn about the career. “I joined The Spear to gain experience as a journalist before college, and learn how to dig deeper into the art,” she said.
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