First Annual Step Up for Colleen 5K Walk/Run Set for May 4

colleen-ritzer-logo(ANDOVER, Massachusetts) – The 1st Annual Step Up for Colleen 5K Walk/Run, in loving memory of Colleen Ritzer, will be held on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. in downtown Andover. All proceeds support the Step Up for Colleen Fund at Essex County Community Foundation. For more information or to register, please visit

Friends and family of Colleen Ritzer planned this event to celebrate Colleen’s life and her commitment to helping and inspiring others. The organizers hope to promote a sense of community and overall goodwill as the community comes together to remember Colleen and the values by which she lived. “Colleen was such a giving person, and cared so much about other people,” says event organizer Nina Caron. “We need more of that in the world.”

The walk/run will begin at the corner of Bartlet Street and Chestnut Street, continue through the bird sanctuary at Phillips Academy, and conclude at the Center at Punchard (formerly known as the Andover Senior Center) at 30 Whittier Court.

Everyone who plans to participate should register in advance ($25 per person). Online registration ends at noon on Friday, May 2. The first 2,000 people who register are guaranteed to receive a shirt designed specifically for this event. Participants are encouraged to wear pink, which was Colleen’s favorite color.

About Colleen Ritzer

Colleen Ritzer, a lifelong resident of Andover, passed away on October 23, 2013 at the age of 24. She was a 2007 graduate of Andover High School and a 2011 graduate of Assumption College. Colleen was pursuing a graduate degree at Salem State College and was a math teacher at Danvers High School. She adored spending time with her family and friends, and was an amazing daughter and big sister to her brother and sister, Daniel and Laura. She left a lasting impression on everyone she met. From a young age, Colleen knew she wanted to be a teacher and worked diligently to achieve her goal. Even though teaching was her profession, it was also one of her favorite hobbies and her passion. She spent countless hours finding unique and creative ways to inspire and teach her students.

About the Step Up for Colleen Fund

The Step Up for Colleen Fund supports charitable activities that honor the legacy of Colleen Ritzer, including the Colleen E. Ritzer Scholarship Fund, which benefits Andover and Danvers High School seniors who demonstrate a passion for teaching, academic excellence, and love of family.

Media Contact

Media inquiries should be directed to Kristen Walsh at