Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


May 4, 2014

Ritzer family opens Step Up for Colleen 5K

The family of Colleen Ritzer — the Danvers High School teacher from Andover murdered last fall — looked out into a wave of pink donned by more than 4,000 gathered yesterday morning at The Påark downtown to honor their daughter's and sister's memory.

In what was one of their first public appearances since the 24-year-old's death, allegedly at the hands of one of her students, her family gathered on a small stage and thanked the group for the support they continue to receive.

"Colleen loved life, family and friends and teaching," said Ritzer's father, Tom; who was joined by her mother, Peggie; brother, Dan; and sister, Laura. "We are very proud of Colleen and continue to be amazed by the number of lives she has touched."

Earlier in the day, the family also released a video thanking the communities of Andover, Danvers and elsewhere for their outpouring of kindness (see

Based on unofficial numbers, more than 4,000 people turned out for the event to raise money for the Colleen Ritzer Memorial Scholarship Fund and other initiatives in her memory.

To see Tom Ritzer's full remarks, visit

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