Family creates charitable fund in memory of Jennifer Riordan

Jennifer Riordan, who graduated from Colchester High School in 1992, was killed in the Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 crash on April 17. Her family has since created a charitable fund to support philanthropic efforts in Riordan’s spirit. (courtesy photo)

Albuquerque, N.M. — From Australia to Burlington to Albuquerque, hundreds of people have contributed to the Jennifer Riordan Sparkle Fund, a site created after Riordan tragically died about Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 on April 17.

The announcement was made by Jennifer’s husband, Michael, and their two children Averie and Joshua along with Kelli Cooper, vice president of the Albuquerque Community Foundation. These generous donations, totaling more than $40,000, are the catalyst for the creation of the Jennifer Riordan “Sparkle” Fund in the name of Riordan, a Colchester High School alum.

“Our family has been absolutely overwhelmed with the compassion and support we’ve received from people around the world who have been touched by Jennifer’s spirit,” Michael said. “The sole mission of this fund will be to continue Jennifer’s philanthropic enthusiasm to support organizations who shared her core value of striving to always be kind, loving, caring and sharing.”

The fund will be a donor-advised fund managed by the Albuquerque Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established in Albuquerque in 1981.

“The Albuquerque Community Foundation is honored to work with Michael, Averie and Josh with the creation of the Jennifer Riordan Sparkle Fund,” Cooper said. “Jennifer was a pillar of philanthropy in our community and this fund will continue her desire to support the causes she cared about so deeply, forever.”

One hundred percent of the funds received to date will be granted to nonprofit organizations this year.  An advisory board is currently working with the Albuquerque Community Foundation to identify the best use of these funds in programming near and dear to Riordan’s spirit. Specific beneficiaries of the Jennifer Riordan Sparkle Fund will be announced later this summer.

For more information and to donate to the permanent Jennifer Riordan Sparkle Fund, please visit

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