'Sea Of Pink' In Andover Honoring Life Of Danvers Teacher Colleen Ritzer

Photo: Shari Small/ WBZ NewsRadio

ANDOVER, Mass. (WBZNewsRadio) — Some 4000 people wearing pink gathered at Central Park in Andover Sunday to take part in the sixth annual ‘Step Up For Colleen 5K.’

Colleen’s parents Peggie and Tom Ritzer say the race, now in its tenth year, helps keep the memory of their daughter alive.

Colleen Ritzer is the Danvers school teacher murdered by one of her students in 2013.

The 5K race draws thousands of runners and walkers of all ages each year with proceeds from the event benefitting the ‘Colleen E. Ritzer Memorial Fund’ which supports scholarships, grants, and other programs established to honor Colleen’s memory and life.

The participants wear pink, Colleen’s favorite color.

Photo: Shari Small / WBZ NewsRadio

Since 2014, the fund has awarded more than $440,000 in scholarships to 89 future teachers, while funding other programs that focus on kindness. 

“That’s the way she lived her life,” Tom said. “She was kind to people. Caring for people. It’s just the way she lived.”

“We always say we want her to be remembered for how she lived, not how she passed away,” Peggie said.

Colleen was a lifelong resident of Andover. She graduated from Andover High School in 2007 and was a 2011 graduate of Assumption College.

Colleen was a math teacher at Danvers High School and was pursuing a graduate degree at Salem State College when she passed away on October 22, 2013.

WBZ’s Shari Small (@ShariSmallNews) reports.

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