Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell and Michelle Kichline and District Attorney Deb Ryan announce details of the sixth annual Chester County Color 5K run and walk, raising funds to combat the opioid and heroin epidemic in the county.
This year’s Color 5K will take place at in Exton Park and along the Chester Valley Trail on Saturday morning, October 8, 2022. Pre-race registration is open for individuals and teams at chesco.org/color5k. Race-day registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and the race starts at 9:00 a.m.
Presenting sponsor for the 2022 Chester County Color 5K is the John R. Gailey III and JoEllen Berger Charitable Fund.
Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Marian Moskowitz said, “We are extremely grateful to the trustees of the John R. Gailey III and JoEllen Berger Charitable Fund for once again taking the lead as presenting sponsor with a transformational contribution. This support will help us to leverage even more funding, and directly help those suffering from substance use disorder.”
Previous Chester County Color 5K events have attracted thousands of participants and supporters, and combined, have raised more than $200,000. Funds generated through this year’s Color 5K will support Chester County’s Community Outreach Prevention and Education – or COPE – program.
Chester County’s creation of the COPE program has proved to be a big step forward in the effort to try and steer those who have overdosed into a treatment setting, which ultimately can lead to recovery.
Through the COPE program, overdose survivors who are being treated in emergency rooms at any hospital in Chester County can meet with a certified recovery specialist within an hour of entering the ER. The peer specialist engages with the overdose survivor and provides personal support and a direct connection to treatment and recovery services.
“The goal of COPE is to work with overdose survivors, helping to move them from the ER to treatment, with their approval, regardless of insurance status,” said Commissioner Josh Maxwell. “COPE peer specialists also work with the overdose survivor’s family and friends to advise on how to navigate insurance coverage, ways to get treatment, and to provide Naloxone and educate them how to use it.
“This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” added Commissioner Maxwell.
Commissioner Michelle Kichline, whose determination to address the opioid and heroin crisis in Chester County led to the first and subsequent Chester County Color 5K events, added: “When the pandemic hit us in 2020, we were already facing a health crisis with the opioid epidemic. And while the pandemic took attention away from this crisis, deaths due to overdose increased nationwide.
“Substance use disorder is a devastating disease and we are doing everything we can to fight it. Since its official start in 2018, COPE team members have successfully engaged with 98% of overdose survivors referred to them in Chester County, and eight out of 10 have been referred to treatment, with seven out of 10 admitted to treatment. More than 840 people who experienced an overdose in Chester County have been personally helped with treatment because of the COPE program.”
Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan said, “Chester County lost 109 people to drug overdoses in 2021. All of them could have been prevented with intervention and treatment, especially now with the Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative – LETI – where anyone with a substance use disorder can seek help through local law enforcement at no expense. Every loss is devastating and has an enormous toll on a family, loved ones, and our community. The Color 5K is such an important event because it’s a chance for us to come together to stand against the catastrophic effects of drugs.”
Sponsorship opportunities for the Chester County Color 5K are available at many levels for organizations and individuals. For more information on all levels of sponsorship contact Rebecca Brain, Chester County Public Information Officer, at [email protected].
The Chester County Color 5K is administered by the Chester County Community Foundation. All Color 5K sponsorships can be noted as 501(c)(3) charitable tax deductions.
For all information on the 2022 Chester County Color 5K, including sponsorship and registration, go to chesco.org/color5K.