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Memorial Scholarship

Applications for 2021 Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarships Now Being Accepted

Applications for the 2021 Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship are now being accepted. The deadline to apply for a 2021 Scholarship Award is March 15, 2021.

Eligible applicants must be well-rounded graduating seniors who are Andover or Danvers residents (public or private school students), who demonstrate a passion for teaching, academic excellence and love of family. Applicants must plan to pursue a degree in the field of education at an accredited four-year college or university in Fall 2021.

All students planning to major in education or a specific subject with a concentration in education are encouraged to apply for these competitive scholarships that are awarded to individuals who share Colleen’s passions of family and teaching.

Click here to learn more about the Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship, or to download an application.

The deadline for the 2021 scholarship applications is March 15, 2021.

cupcakes
Fundraisers

Enjoy Delicious Cupcakes While Supporting a Great Cause

How sweet! In honor of Kindness for Colleen Day, Pipe Dream Cupcakes is donating the proceeds from this week’s sales of their Pink Lady cupcakes to the Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Fund. Free delivery is available in Andover and North Andover (within a 5-mile radius of 10 Main Street, Andover), or orders can be picked up at Pazzo Pizza Company. The price is $28 per half dozen or $49 for a dozen. Please order (via e-mail to nadine@pipedreamcupcakes.com) by Tuesday 10/20 at 8pm for pickup or delivery on Wednesday 10/21. Order by Wednesday 10/21 at 8pm for pickup or delivery on Thursday 10/22. Finally, order by Thursday 10/22 at 8pm for pickup or delivery on Friday 10/23.

Memorial ScholarshipScholarship Recipients

2020 Recipients: Inspiring and Impactful Future Educators Awarded Scholarships

(ANDOVER, Massachusetts) – Following a challenging semester that instilled in teachers and students alike a newfound sense of resiliency, the family of Colleen Ritzer, Tom, Peggie, Dan and Laura, announced the 2020 recipients of the Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship, awarded to graduating high school seniors who plan to pursue a degree in education. The recipients of this scholarship will strive to carry on Colleen’s legacy as a caring and compassionate teacher. In addition, this year, “Inspire Kindness” scholarships were also awarded to students who exemplify the act of being kind and caring through their work in their communities.

This year, the Ritzer family awarded over $60,000 in scholarships in Colleen’s name, including $26,000 to 2020 graduating seniors and over $34,000 to previous years’ recipients. Since its inception in 2014, nearly $305,000 in scholarships have been awarded to 71 future teachers, some of whom have already begun their teaching careers and pursuing master’s degrees.

“With over 70 current and future teachers following in Colleen’s footsteps, we are in awe of the impact of Colleen’s legacy and the influence she continues to have on so many current and aspiring teachers and those committed to community service,” said the Ritzer family. “The continued support of the Scholarship from generous members of our community continues to inspire and strengthen us as a family. As we witness former recipients embark upon careers of meaning and high school graduates begin their pursuit of a teaching degree, we excitedly follow their progress. Each of the recipients are caring individuals who demonstrate passion for their chosen profession, just as Colleen did.”

This year’s recipients from Andover High School, Danvers High School and Central Catholic High School demonstrate a strong will for serving others and are excited to begin their journey towards their own classroom. Each recipient exhibited tremendous promise through their high school endeavors from National Honor Societies to participating in extracurricular activities and community service such peer mentoring and not only playing, but coaching and mentoring the athletes, in the sports they love.

The 2020 Scholarship recipients from Andover include Emma Accardi, Lauren Bessette, Matthew Comeau, Madilyn Francis, Brooke Hardock, Nicole Major, Julie Purtschert and Addison Jaromin. The Scholarship recipients from Danvers are Erin Lally, Michael Mahoney and Gabrielle Sherrick. The 2020 Inaugural Inspire Kindness recipients are Hannah Finn of Andover and Chloe Callahan of Danvers.

Learn more about each of this year’s recipients here.

The Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Fund is supported by donations made in the wake of Colleen’s passing in October 2013 as well as the Step Up for Colleen 5K Walk/Run and other tribute events held to honor Colleen’s life and legacy. The Scholarship is a permanent tribute to Colleen and builds upon her legacy by helping future teachers obtain a college degree so that they, too, can share their passion for teaching with future students.

AnnouncementsStep Up for Colleen

Coronavirus (COVID-19) & the 2021 Step Up for Colleen

Updated February 22, 2021
 
Thank you for your continued support! As we continue to follow the news relative to Covid-19 and the current restrictions, we are now hoping to hold an event in September, rather than May. While there is still much uncertainty as to what this event may look like with the restrictions at that time, there will be an event in Colleen’s honor. Whether we see you in-person or virtually in September, we encourage you to keep Colleen’s legacy alive and spread kindness! 
 

 
Updated December 20, 2020
 
We hope you and your family are all safe, healthy and practicing social distancing!
 
We continue to follow the news relative to Covid 19 and the current restrictions. Although hope is on the way now that the vaccine is beginning to be administered, we are still unsure as to when in 2021 road races will be able to begin. We have reserved our May date, however, we do realize that it is unlikely that our event will be able to be held at full capacity at that time. As a backup plan, we are reserving a Fall date where we can hold our event at full capacity and if not, we will consider a virtual event or hopefully a mix of in-person and virtual depending on gathering limits. 
 
We will do our best to keep you up to date on our plans. Thank you for your patience and your continued support.
 

 
Updated April 2, 2020
 
We hope you and your family are all safe, healthy and practicing social distancing!
 
A few weeks ago, we reached out to you regarding the postponement of the 7th Annual Step Up for Colleen 5K Walk/Run. As the pandemic continues to affect all of our lives, we realize that this is not only a socially difficult time, but also a financially difficult time for many. For these reasons, we have made the heart-wrenching decision to cancel the 7th Annual Step Up for Colleen.
 
As difficult a decision as it was to cancel our event and not gather the sea of pink to remember Colleen this year, the health, safety and financial needs of our community are our top priority. With the uncertainty of the pandemic and how long it may last, we believe it would not be appropriate to hold the event and we strongly believe we should focus on healing and supporting the community. While a virtual event was proposed, upon further thought, we have decided not to pursue that option as our event is not just about raising funds for scholarships, it is about bringing the community together in one place to celebrate Colleen’s life and legacy.
 
Within the next few weeks, we will be in touch to outline your options regarding your paid registration fee. We are working closely with our registration software company, RunSignUp, to send these emails soon, but we ask for your patience while we navigate this.
 
While this was an extremely hard decision to make, we continue to hold hope that no matter what is happening in the world, Colleen’s legacy will continue to shine bright and we look forward to awarding scholarships this June.
 
In place of this year’s event, we are organizing a kindness initiative that will take place in May to continue Colleen’s legacy and give the community a reason to smile during these difficult times. This is continuing to evolve and we will share more information soon!
 
Thank you for your heartfelt support of Colleen, her legacy, our family, and the Step Up for Colleen 5K! We hope to see you all in May 2021!
 
As Colleen would say, always remember to find the good in every day and be kind to one another.
 
With gratitude,
Tom, Peggie, Dan & Laura Ritzer
 

Updated March 16, 2020
 
We hope you are all staying safe and healthy!
 
Following the guidance of state officials, the 7th Annual Step Up for Colleen will be postponed to a later date, or if needed, shifted to a virtual event. We are working with town officials to explore alternative dates in the summer or fall. While this has been an extremely difficult decision to make, your health and safety is our top priority. We know that no matter what is happening in the world, Colleen’s legacy will continue to shine bright and we have individuals such as yourself to thank for that. As Colleen would say, always remember to find the good.
 
Thank you for your continued support of Colleen, our family, the Step Up for Colleen 5K and Colleen’s legacy! As we finalize plans and have more information, we will keep you updated. 
 
Sincerely,
The Ritzer Family
 

We thank everyone who has already registered for the 7th Annual Step Up for Colleen 5K and those who continue to support Colleen’s legacy each and every day. We are closely monitoring developments regarding the coronavirus situation and collaborating with town officials to ensure a safe and successful event.

As of today, the May 3 Step Up for Colleen 5K Walk/Run will proceed as scheduled. We will continue to monitor updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and make decisions based upon their guidance.

As the situation is rapidly changing and progressing, the Committee and Advisory Board are exploring alternative options as a precautionary measure. These options could be a postponement or shift to a virtual event.

With the event only seven weeks away, we are fully prepared to hold if possible and safe to do so. In the event we cannot host the event on May 3rd, we will shift to a virtual event if postponement is not a feasible option. While our hope is to have the sea of pink gather the first Sunday in May as we usually do, we know that Colleen’s legacy will be honored, supported and spread, whether the event is held as usual or virtual.

The Step Up for Colleen 5K Walk/Run continues to be the major fundraiser that supports the Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Fund. Whether the event happens as planned, is postponed or shifted to a virtual event, we ask that you continue to do your part in keeping Colleen’s memory alive and spreading her legacy. 

We encourage you to continue to register and invite your family and friends to join you in honoring Colleen. 

With our heartfelt gratitude and wishes for your continued safety,
The Ritzer Family

 

andover fire
FundraisersStep Up for Colleen

Andover Firefighters Donate Proceeds to Honor Colleen’s Legacy

Andover Firefighters Local 1658 are once again honoring Colleen’s life and legacy by donating the proceeds of their t-shirt sales to the Step Up for Colleen 5K. In addition to raising funds through t-shirt sales, the firefighters continue to join the community each year at the Step Up for Colleen 5K Walk/Run. We are so humbled to have the support of the local community, especially the Andover Firefighters!

We invite you to learn more and support Andover Firefighters Local 1658’s efforts by visiting their page.

Join Andover firefighters and thousands of other community members as we honor Colleen at the 7th Annual Step Up for Colleen 5K Walk/Run. Click here to register today!

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Memorial ScholarshipNewsScholarship Recipients

Salem News: Danvers native McCarthy grabs prestigious field hockey honor

By Nick Giannino Staff Writer
December 9, 2019

Kristen McCarthy’s collegiate field hockey career may have come to a close last month, but not before she etched her name in the Endicott College record books.

By the time she had wrapped up her final Gulls’ game, the former Danvers High standout came in at first all-time in assists (28), second all-time in points (153) and third all-time in goals scored (52). More impressively, she did all that in just 47 games.

Her offensive prowess and all-around consistency landed her back-to-back Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Offensive Player of the Year awards, including her senior season this fall. Late last week, she added one last prestigious honor to her resume: The 2019 First Point USA/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division 3 New England East Regional Player of the Year.

Click here to continue reading.

(Photo Credit – David Le/Endicott College)

Step Up for ColleenUncategorized

Northshore Magazine: 2019 Best of the Northshore

Thank you to everyone who voted the Step Up for Colleen 5K Walk/Run for the Best Community Walk/Run/Race in the Northshore! It’s an honor to receive the recognition and it serves as a reminder that Colleen and her legacy continue to impact and inspire so many.

Best Community Walk/Run/Bike

Editors’ Choice

Step Up for Colleen
ANDOVER

This annual 5K walk/run takes place every spring to honor Colleen Ritzer, the Danvers High School teacher. The organizers aim to create the kind of community and goodwill Ritzer cultivated in her life. Proceeds from the event benefit a scholarship fund that gives money to students from Andover and Danvers who intend to pursue degrees in education.

Click here to learn more about the Best of the Northshore 2019 Award Winners.

Uncategorized

Ritzer Family Announces 2019 Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Recipients

(ANDOVER, Massachusetts) – The family of Colleen Ritzer, Tom, Peggie, Dan and Laura, today announced the 2019 recipients of the Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship, awarded to graduating high school seniors who plan to pursue a degree in education at a four-year accredited college. Through their receipt of this Scholarship, the recipients will strive to carry on Colleen’s legacy as a caring and compassionate teacher.

This year, the Ritzer family awarded over $50,000 of scholarships in Colleen’s name., including $20,000 to 2019 graduating seniors and over $30,000 to previous years’ recipients. Since its inception in 2014, nearly $240,000 in scholarships have been awarded to 58 future teachers.

“With nearly 60 current and future teachers following in Colleen’s footsteps, we are in awe of how much Colleen’s legacy has grown in the past five and a half years,” said the Ritzer family. “Our family continues to be amazed by the support the Scholarship Fund and Colleen’s legacy receives. We are excited to watch each of the recipients grow and blossom as they lead their own classroom and inspire future generations, just as Colleen continues to do.”

This year’s recipients from Andover High School, Danvers High School and Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School demonstrate a strong desire for helping others and are excited to begin their journey towards their own classroom. Each recipient demonstrated great promise through their high school endeavors from National Honor Societies to participating in extracurricular activities and community service such as Tomorrow’s Teachers and peer mentoring and not only playing, but coaching the sports they love.

The 2019 Scholarship recipients from Andover include Grace Dunn, Maeve Gaffney, Alec Haffner, Kathleen Hartnett, Hope Joel, Katharine Leland, and Jessica Shay. The Scholarship recipients from Danvers are Alicia Cone, Shaelyn McGrath, and Timothy West.

Click here to learn more about each recipient.

The Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Fund is supported by donations made in the wake of Colleen’s passing in October 2013 as well as the Step Up for Colleen 5K Walk/Run and other tribute events held to honor Colleen’s life and legacy. The Scholarship is a permanent tribute to Colleen and builds upon her legacy by helping future teachers obtain a college degree so that they, too, can share their passion for teaching with future students.

Applicants were required to complete an application that requested information such as extra-curricular activities, awards and recognitions and plans for college. They were also asked to submit a 500-word essay describing why they plan to pursue a degree in education and what, or who, inspired them to do so. The last piece of the application encouraged applicants to reflect on words shared by Colleen in her college essay in which she wrote:

“Teachers have been an inspiration to me ever since I was just a young girl. Starting in pre-school, I knew I loved helping the teachers and would one day want to be just like them. My dream is to become a teacher, one who shapes the minds and lives of children. My goal has always been to become a teacher that will impact students’ lives.”

Eligible applicants must be Andover or Danvers residents graduating from public or private high school, who plan to pursue a degree in the field of education at an accredited four-year college or university. Guidance counselors encouraged well-rounded students who plan to major in education or a specific subject with a concentration in education to apply for a competitive scholarship.

Applications that met eligibility requirements were reviewed by a selection committee comprised of family members and educators including: Tom Ritzer, Colleen’s dad; Peggie Ritzer, Colleen’s mom; Susan Craig, Colleen’s aunt; Todd Butterworth and Sarah Giaquinta, Danvers High School math teachers; Kimberly Bergey, Andover High School guidance counselor; Holly Breen, Andover High School Health Education teacher; and Kimberly Rocha, Nashoba Regional High School English teacher.

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Uncategorized

Applications for the 2019 Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Now Being Accepted

Applications for the 2019 Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship are now being accepted. The deadline to apply for a 2019 Scholarship Award is March 15, 2019.

Eligible applicants must be well-rounded graduating seniors who are Andover or Danvers residents (public or private school students), who demonstrate a passion for teaching, academic excellence and love of family. Applicants must plan to pursue a degree in the field of education at an accredited four-year college or university in Fall 2019.

All students planning to major in education or a specific subject with a concentration in education are encouraged to apply for these competitive scholarships that are awarded to individuals who share Colleen’s passions of family and teaching.

Click here to learn more about the Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship, or to download an application.

The deadline for the 2019 scholarship applications is March 15, 2019.

Uncategorized

Magic 106.7 and Century Bank Honor Colleen in Holiday Campaign

Recently, as part of a joint campaign with Century Bank and Magic 106.7, Tom and Peggie Ritzer sat down with Magic’s morning crew, David O’Leary and Sue Tabb, to discuss Colleen and her lasting legacy through the Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Step Up for Colleen 5K Walk/Run. Click below to watch their interview.