‘Walk for Mike’ draws around 250 residents, inspires others across the country

About 250 Ridgefielders turned out to walk in memory of Michael Nardone, the ‘Ridgefield Walker,’ who passed away on Thanksgiving.

Ridgefield resident Debbie Haughney, who organized the event, told The Press she even received a message from Terry Hughes, the former director of The Boys and Girls Club, who said he was walking near his home in California at 6 a.m. in solidarity with those participating in Walk for Mike.

Others emailed and texted her pictures of their kids in bright orange safety vests, like the one Nardone used to wear during his walks about town.

Neighbors recalled seeing Nardone walk the idyllic streets of Ridgefield, whether they were covered with snow, lashed with rain, or baking in the summer heat.

Haughney said the group walked about two miles in a loop of the length of Main Street.

“People just talked the whole way — I think he was very well loved in this town,” she said.

In addition to the walk, Haughney said she collected about four large boxes of nonperishable food to be donated to the Ridgefield Food Bank, in memory of Nardone’s outreach to the community.

The walkers included people of all ages who had stories and memories of Nardone.

“One of the walkers suggested making t-shirts that say ‘Be like Mike’,” Haughney told The Press.

Those who missed the walk need not worry.

“We kind of talked about making it an annual event the Sunday after the holiday stroll,” Haughney said.