BlogStep Up for Colleen

Registration Now Open for the 2016 Step Up for Colleen 5K


Race Organizers Accepting Sponsorships to Defray Cost of Race, Generate Additional Resources for Scholarship Fund

(ANDOVER, Massachusetts) – Online registration is now open for the Third Annual Step Up for Colleen 5K, in memory of beloved teacher Colleen Ritzer, at, to be held on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. Proceeds from the event will benefit college scholarships awarded to graduating Andover, Danvers and Nashoba Regional High School seniors who plan to pursue a teaching career after college.


Race director Nina Caron expects more than 4,000 walkers and runners to descend upon the USA Track & Field certified course again this year. “Our 2014 and 2015 events exceeded all expectations, and provided financial resources to enable graduates of Andover and Danvers High Schools to pursue a teaching career, just like Colleen,” she says. “The community has come together in an incredible way to honor Colleen’s legacy, and to fund a lasting scholarship that will allow her love of life and for teaching to live on in other educators who share her passion.”

Century Bank has signed on as one of the 2016 event’s title sponsors. A limited number of sponsorship opportunities are still available. Benefits vary by level, and include a company logo on event apparel, recognition on the race website and in all promotional materials, public acknowledgement at the event, complimentary registrations and more. Companies and organizations interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact Kim Grady at or (978) 494-4435. More information is available here.

About Colleen Ritzer
Colleen Ritzer, a lifelong resident of Andover, passed away on October 22, 2013. She was a 2007 graduate of Andover High School and a 2011 graduate of Assumption College. Colleen was a math teacher at Danvers High School and pursuing a graduate degree at Salem State College. 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 made 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, held at the Essex County Community Foundation, supports charitable activities that honor the legacy of Colleen Ritzer, including the Colleen E. Ritzer Scholarship Fund, which benefits graduating Andover, Danvers and Nashoba Regional High School seniors who demonstrate a passion for teaching, academic excellence, and love of family. Since its inception, the Colleen E. Ritzer Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $50,000 to 21 deserving students.