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Posted on: August 29, 2017

Chester County Organizes Second Color 5k to Fight Opioid and Heroin Addiction

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Following the success of the first Color 5K last year, the Chester County Commissioners, District Attorney, and members of the County’s Overdose Prevention Task Force announce details of the second 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, November 4, 2017. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and the race starts at 9:00 a.m. For details of the event and to register, go to http://chesco.org/color5k.


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 2016 Color 5K attracted more than 800 participants and supporters, and raised $25,000 to help coordinate a “warm hand-off” program with the county’s five hospitals, helping to transition those who have been saved from an overdose into treatment and counseling.


Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Michelle Kichline said: “The amazing community support that we received for last year’s Color 5K proved that there are, unfortunately, many people in Chester County who have been affected by this epidemic. This event helps to raise awareness of, and funds for, the opioid and heroin crisis, but it also shows that those suffering from addiction, their families and friends are not alone.”


“The opioid and heroin crisis is a great concern plaguing the nation, and it’s a concern that we, as a county, have been cooperatively addressing for some time now,” said Commissioner Kathi Cozzone. “While in Chester County the number of those abusing opioids is less than other areas of the Commonwealth, we still need to provide education, counseling, and rehabilitation services to help our residents.”


Funds raised through this year’s Color 5K will benefit a new program to provide one-to-one support for overdose survivors and their families and friends; provide overdose prevention information and outreach to first responders, hospital staff, family members and friends; and importantly, provide expedited admission into detox and a review of all treatment options for overdose survivors who agree to treatment. 


“Americans are the number one consumers of opioids and they are being abused by young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural,” added Commissioner Terence Farrell. “Prescription drug abuse has opened the door to heroin use, especially among young people, because heroin is cheaper and easier to obtain.”


Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said, “The hard truth of the matter is that heroin and opioids have decimated this generation of American youth. In Chester County, we lock up the dealers and the pill pushers. But we also understand the need for a comprehensive approach to this health care crisis, including drug court, naloxone in the hands of our first responders, and coordination of innovative strategies by our Overdose Prevention Task Force.  We work together every day to save every life that we can.”


Sponsorship opportunities at many levels are available for companies and individuals to support the Color 5K run and walk and raise awareness of this vital issue. For more information on levels of sponsorship, contact Rebecca Brain, Chester County Communications Coordinator, at 610-344-6279 or email rbrain@chesco.org.  


Chester County is the first county in Pennsylvania to initiate a strategic planning process and has a Aaa rating on its bonds from Moody’s Investors Service as well as AAA ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. Established by William Penn as one of Pennsylvania’s three original counties, Chester County has been named by Forbes.com and Movoto.com as one of America’s best places to raise a family and is ranked the healthiest county in Pennsylvania by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

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