WEST HAVEN -- Jennifer Murillo, her sisters and volunteers from West Haven High School were part of the packed crowd that filled Duffy’s Tavern in West Haven for Tip-A-Teacher-For-Gabby.
“It’s just beyond my expectations,” said Murillo
West Haven’s annual Tip-A-Teacher event was held at Duffy’s Tavern. This year’s event had an extra special meaning. All the proceeds from the event went to Gabby Murillo and her family.
Gabby is the young West Haven girl who was paralyzed from the neck down after being struck by another car while at a complete stop in Florida on June 15th. Now the community is rallying together for her.
“Seeing my little sister in the condition that she’s in it’s heartbreaking you never imagine something like this would happen to your family,” said Murillo. “It hits too close to the heart.”
Gabby’s story pulled on the heartstrings of so many. For people who knew her or only recently learned her name to see a cheerful and kindhearted member of their community so close to her dream only to have it taken away was something difficult to bear. This inspired teachers at West Haven High School to hold their Tip-A-Teacher in her honor.
“When you hear it happened to one of your own, you have to do something and that’s what Westies do,” said West Haven High School Principle Dana Parades.
“No matter what happens to any residents of West haven, West haven always rallies around their own,” said Tracey Acquarelo.
Their support along with the dozens that came out was overwhelming to Gabby’s family and friends. Seeing so many bond together for her has given them the confidence and strength to continue moving forward.
“It’s going to be a long, long tough road but with your support we can definitely get through it,” said Murillo.
All proceeds from the event went directly to the Murillo family. Each donation, purchase of a t-Shirt or raffle ticket will go towards paying for Gabby’s medical care, rehabilitation and a specialized wheelchair amongst other everyday care needs.
Gabby is currently rehabbing in Florida facetiming friends and enjoying visits from family who say she is still cracking jokes and hasn’t lost her smile. Her resilience and drive putting life in perspective for many. Giving everyone a reason to be “Gabby Strong”.
“She’s a fighter,” said Jayce Padro. “If anyone’s going to get through it it’s Gabby.”
Tip-A-Teacher-For-Gabby raised nearly $4,000 to help pay for Gabby’s cost of treatment.
If you would like to help Gabby and her family, you could visit GabbyStrong.com to buy “Gabby Strong” t-shirts and donate directly to her cause.