The second annual Peace, Love and Music From Maren event drew crowds of people to Jonathan Law High School Saturday to remember and celebrate the life of Maren Sanchez, the young woman murdered by a fellow student at her school on the day of her Junior Prom in 2014.
During opening remarks, Mayor Ben Blake said no one has brought the Milford community together as Maren has.

School Principal Fran Thompson said one of his greatest privileges was knowing Maren. He recalled her “incredible spirit and great energy.”

School Supt. Dr. Elizabeth Feser told attendees gathered around a bandstand that Maren continues to touch the community and the people she knew.

“Some may feel that in celebrating Maren today, we diminish her loss or deny our grief,” Dr. Feser said. “I suggest otherwise. We all continue to grieve over her loss, but as Elizabeth Kubler Ross states, ‘we build ourselves around the loss we have suffered’.”

Quoting a Jewish prayer, Dr. Feser said, “Those who live no more echo still within our thoughts and words, and what they did has become woven into what we are.”

A hushed crowd listened as Dr. Feser said that “Maren is with us, she surrounds us, she is in us.

“Maren is with us today, bigger than life, reminding us what is important in life: to be a source of harmony, to be loving, to be joyful,” Dr. Feser said. “Such was Maren when she was among us, and such is how she should be remembered.”

The festival was sponsored in partnership with the Maren Sanchez Memorial Fund and The Maren Sanchez Home Foundation.

Last year both Jonathan Law and Foran high school students benefitted from the scholarship fund, with over $55,000 awarded to graduating seniors.

The event included bands, food trucks, art, a raffle, a kickball tournament and a 5K race.

As the community remembered and celebrated the life of the young victim, Christopher Plaskon, charged with stabbing Maren in the hallway of Jonathan Law High School in April 2014, awaits sentencing for her murder.

Plaskon entered a plea of nolo contendere March 7 at Milford Superior Court. He is due to return to court June 6, when he is scheduled to be sentenced to 25 years in prison.

With the plea, Plaskon’s attorney said he could be paroled and out of jail in 13 years.

The estate of Maren Sanchez has brought a lawsuit against the Milford Board of Education and the city, as well as against Christopher Plaskon and his parents, alleging that Maren reported to the high school guidance department her concern that Plaskon was emotionally disturbed, but that her concerns were not properly forwarded to others, and that Plaskon’s parents were aware of his emotional struggles.

Donna Cimarelli-Sanchez, Maren’s mother and the administratrix of her estate, said earlier in a statement about the lawsuit that she hopes to make sure that reports like the one Maren made are properly handled in the future.

Plaskon is currently incarcerated at Manson Youth Institution, will he will remain until his sentencing.