‘Step Up for Colleen’ 5K honors Danvers teacher with a sea of pink

ANDOVER, MASS. (WHDH) - Thousands of walkers and runners participated in the “Step Up for Colleen” 5K Sunday, in memory of a Danvers teacher who was killed in 2013.

The sixth annual 5K was held in Andover in memory of Colleen Ritzer, a math teacher at Danvers High School. More than 3,000 people took part in the walk that raises money for high school seniors looking to pursue a career in teaching.

Colleen Ritzer was just 24-years-old when her life was cut short after she was followed into a bathroom by a 14-year-old and stabbed to death.

Her family created the walk as a way of remembering her and her passion for education.

Katie Rex has been a recipient of the scholarship for four years and she says she is grateful to the family for their generosity.

“The Ritzer family is amazing. They are so strong and compassionate and I am so blessed to be a part of this scholarship and everything they have done for me has been amazing over the past four years.”

Each step of the walk ensures she is not forgotten and her passion for teaching is allowed to live on in others.

“She would have never believed that this many people would have been this compassionate and this driven to support her,” walker Dan Yanofsky said. “It is really heartwarming to know that her influence is still seen in this many people all these years later.”

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