Thousands expected for Color 5K run/walk
Chester County Commissioners and District Attorney Tom Hogan have announced the support of Independence Blue Cross as the “Transformation” presenting sponsor of the third annual Color 5K run and walk, raising funds to combat the opioid and heroin epidemic.
This year’s Color 5K will take place at Everhart Park in West Chester, on Saturday, Nov. 10. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the race starts at 9 a.m.
There will be 17 organizations attending the Color 5K providing information on drug and alcohol services, community-based supports, and local and regional efforts to combat the opioid crisis and more.
For the first time, ProAct (Pennsylvania Recovery Organization – Achieving Communities Together) will be distributing a limited supply of Narcan free to anyone who requests it, as well as information on how to administer Narcan.
Chester County remains committed to tackling the opioid and heroin epidemic through intensive health, education, treatment, and law enforcement measures, coordinated by the Overdose Prevention Task Force. The Color 5K attracted more than 1,000 participants and supporters in 2017, and raised $38,000.
“We thank Independence Blue Cross for joining us for this year’s Color 5K, making a significant contribution that will truly help us as we continue to raise funds and awareness to fight this addiction crisis,” said Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Michelle Kichline. “I also want to note the amazing community support that we have received for the Color 5K over the past two years, which regrettably proves that there are many people in Chester County who have been affected by this epidemic.”
“At Independence Blue Cross, we are proud to support the comprehensive and compassionate work being done in Chester County to tackle the opioid epidemic,” said Richard L. Snyder, M.D., Independence Blue Cross Chief Medical Officer. “This crisis is one of the greatest health challenges of our times – and as the region’s largest health insurer we are committed to supporting organizations and solutions that help our communities and the thousands of people affected by opioid and heroin abuse.”
Funds raised through this year’s Color 5K will continue to support the innovative program called COPE – Community Outreach and Prevention Education – that is specific to Chester County. Through this program, opioid overdose survivors who are being treated in the emergency room at Chester County Hospital and Brandywine Hospital can meet with a certified recovery specialist within an hour of coming into the ER. The recovery 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
move the overdose survivor from the ER to treatment – with his or her approval – regardless of insurance status, and to work with the survivor and family on how to navigate insurance coverage and ways to get treatment,” said Commissioner Kathi Cozzone. “The recovery specialist also meets with family members to give important information, provide Narcan and educate them how to use it.”
Commissioner Terence Farrell added: “Never before has a service like this been available to this extent, and the COPE program has become a reality, in part, thanks to the money raised by the Chester County Color 5K events in 2016 and 2017. We hope that, with even more money raised at this year’s event, we can begin to roll out the COPE program to more hospitals in Chester County.”
Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said: “Chester County law enforcement and public officials are continuing our allout offensive against the opioid epidemic. We arrest drug dealers, seek treatment for addicts, build support for families, and educate our community. The annual Color 5K is one more valuable tool that Chester County uses as we join the rest of the nation in fighting this battle to save lives.”
Sponsorship opportunities for the Chester County Color 5K are available at many levels for companies and individuals. For more information on levels of sponsorship, contact Rebecca Brain, Chester County Communications Coordinator, at 610-344-6279 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For details of the event and to register in advance, go to http://chesco.org/color5k.
The third annual Coloir 5K run and walk to raise funds to combat the opioid and heroin epidemic takes place Saturday, Nov. 10 in West Chester.