Category: Step Up for Colleen

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Step Up for Colleen

MVS Offers Free Couch to 5K Training Program

Want to get outside, get healthier, and have some fun? Merrimack Valley Striders is offering a free Couch to 5K training program that begins on March 10th and runs for 8 weeks leading up to the May 5th Step Up for Colleen! This program is available to MVS members and non-members. Training is suitable for the walker, the runner with some experience or who has not run in some time, and the experienced runner. The sessions are coached by MVS members and will take place in Andover on our race course. Visit mvsruns.com to learn more and to register!

 

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Step Up for Colleen

Please Vote! 2024 Best of the Northshore Nomination

Thanks to the support of everyone in the community, the Step Up for Colleen 5K Walk/Run has once again been nominated for a Best of the Northshore (BONS) Award by Northshore Magazine! Our 5K Walk/Run has won several times in recent years, and it’s been an honor to be recognized. Colleen’s family and the entire Step Up for Colleen team appreciate everyone who has voted for us and has helped us carry on Colleen’s legacy.

Please vote for the Step Up for Colleen as the Best Community Walk/Run under the Play category. 

You can vote for us and all of your favorite local businesses and organizations by the May 1st deadline by clicking here. Contact press@colleenritzer.org with any questions. Thank you all for your incredible support!

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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 Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Fund. 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 on Sunday, May 5th at the 11th Annual Step Up for Colleen 5K. Click here to register today!

Step Up for Colleen

2022 Best of Northshore Editors’ & Readers’ Choice Award Winner

Thank you to everyone who voted for the Step Up for Colleen 5K Walk/Run for the Best Community Walk/Run/Race in the Northshore! It is 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/Race

Editors’ & Readers’ Choice

Step Up for Colleen, Andover

Standout Qualities: With over 3,000 runners and walkers, this 5K run and walk is held each year to honor the memory and support the legacy of Colleen Ritzer, a Danvers High School teacher and Andover native who was tragically killed in 2013. The money raised goes to charities that further values important to Ritzer, including a scholarship fund for graduating seniors from Andover and Danvers who will be pursuing a degree in education.

Insider Tip: In 2022, more than $70,000 in scholarship money was awarded to future teachers & leaders.

Click here to learn more about the “Best of the Northshore” 2022 Award Winners.

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Step Up for Colleen

Please Vote! 2022 Best of the Northshore Nomination

Thanks to the support of everyone in the community, the Step Up for Colleen 5K Walk/Run has once again been nominated for a Best of the Northshore (BONS) Award by Northshore Magazine! Our 5K Walk/Run has won several times in recent years, and it’s been an honor to be recognized. Colleen’s family and the entire Step Up for Colleen team appreciate everyone that has voted for us and has helped us carry on Colleen’s legacy.

Please vote for the Step Up for Colleen as the Best Community Walk/Run under the Play category. 

You can vote for us and all of your favorite local businesses and organizations by the May 1st deadline by clicking here. Contact press@stepupforcolleen.com with any questions. Thank you all for your incredible support!

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Step Up for Colleen

Christmas in July!

Christmas was Colleen’s favorite time of year. To honor her love of Christmas, you can receive a pink CR hat* for a limited time only. Anyone who registers now through July 31st AND donates $25, will receive a hat in addition to the 8th annual event t-shirt. Everyone can use a little extra pink! The hats will be mailed to you in the coming weeks!

If you have already registered, you can still receive a hat! Make a $25 donation between now and July 31st and a hat will be sent your way! Donate today.

*Please note, there is a limit of one hat per registrant. These hats cannot be purchased and will not be sold at the race.

 

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Step Up for Colleen

Please Vote! 2021 Best of the North Shore Nomination

Thanks to the support of everyone in the community, the Step Up for Colleen has once again been nominated for a Best of the North Shore (BONS) Award by Northshore Magazine! Our 5K Walk/Run has won several times in recent years, and it’s been an honor for Colleen’s family to attend the BONS event on behalf of the entire Step Up for Colleen team of volunteers.

Please vote for the Step Up for Colleen as the Best Community Walk/Run/Bike (Virtual) under the Play category. (Of course, due to Covid-19 restrictions, we’re not sure yet if our 2021 event can be in-person or if it will need to be virtual, so stay tuned to our social media for future updates.)

You can vote for us and all of your favorite local businesses and organizations by the May 2nd deadline by clicking here. Contact press@stepupforcolleen.com with any questions. Thank you all for your incredible support!

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

 

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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!

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.