A tireless 50-year worker for the betterment of Garfield Park and Manual, Burrello graduated from Manual in 1963 and retired as senior park manager in 2014.
Burrello told The Southsider Voice several years ago that she’s been going to the park since before she was born as her mom used to go for walks there when she was pregnant with her. Burrello recalls taking her first swimming lessons at the park when she was 5, but she never learned to swim.
Although retired from her beloved park, she remains active by serving as president of Friends of Garfield Park.
Burrello’s accolades and accomplishments are many:
• Conceived and worked with Indy Parks and Lilly Endowment to establish the Garfield Park arts program.
• Led effort for park and endowment’s $10 million investment in the park in the 1990s.
• Founder of Indy in Motion program.
• Member of Indiana’s and Indianapolis Public Schools’ halls of fame.
• Park’s Burrello Family Center named in her honor.
• Six-year chairwoman of the Indiana Punt, Pass & Kick program.
Burrello still boasts that the park offers the best youth basketball program in the state. Before retiring, she was beginning to see some third-generation families involved in the program. She cherished coaching the kids in basketball, volleyball and kickball.
“The park is my whole life,” she’s been known to say. “It’s the only thing I know.”