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Thousands to #StepUpforColleen

stepupRegistration Open for 2015 Step Up for Colleen 5K

(ANDOVER, Massachusetts) – Family and friends of Colleen E. Ritzer today announced that the second annual Step Up for Colleen 5K will be held in Andover on Sunday, May 3, 2015 in memory of Colleen Ritzer. Proceeds from the event will support the Step Up for Colleen Fund at Essex County Community Foundation which benefits the Colleen E. Ritzer Scholarship Fund that provides college scholarships to high school graduates who pursue education as a major and reflect Colleen’s values.

Registration for the 2015 Step Up for Colleen 5K is now open at www.stepupforcolleen.com. The new website features information about Colleen Ritzer, an online volunteer sign-up page, and a video of the race course. The site also features a ‘social wall’ that collects and shares the reasons why individuals have decided to #StepUpforColleen. The purpose of the wall is to allow participants a forum to inspire others to #StepUpforColleen.

“Last year’s Step Up for Colleen not only provided an opportunity for thousands in the community to come together to remember Colleen, but also raised resources to provide scholarships for future caring and compassionate teachers graduating from Andover and Danvers,” said the Ritzer family. “As Colleen’s parents, brother and sister, we cannot begin to express our sincere gratitude to those who participated in last year’s race. It was a reminder of the many lives Colleen touched or changed. We look forward to the sea of pink ascending Bartlet Street as the community once again ‘Steps Up for Colleen’.”

More than 4,000 registrants participated in the inaugural Step Up for Colleen 5K. “The 2014 event exceeded all expectations,” says race director Nina Caron, who expects well over 5,000 runners and walkers this year. “The 2015 race will feature several enhancements, including a USA Track & Field certified course and youth-sized shirts,” she adds.

A number of sponsorship opportunities are available. Benefits for sponsors vary by level, and include a company logo on event apparel, recognition online and in promotional materials, public acknowledgement at the event, up to 40 complimentary registrations, and more. Companies and organizations interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact Kim Grady at kim@stepupforcolleen.com or (978) 494-4435. More information is also available at www.stepupforcolleen.com/about/sponsors.

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 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.