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Color 5K Returns

West Chester Special Event Oct. 9 To Raise Funds To Fight Drug Addiction, Overdoses, Deaths

The fifth annual Chester County Color 5K Run and Walk raises funds to combat local opioid and heroin issues. Funds assembled through Color 5K specifically support Chester County's innovative Community Outreach Prevention and Education — or COPE — program. 

This year's Color 5K will take place on Oct. 9 at Everhart Park in West Chester. Race-day registration begins at 8 a.m. and the race starts at 9 a.m.

Previous Chester County Color 5K events attracted 1,000-plus participants, and raised more than $160,000.

Through the COPE program, overdose survivors who are 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," says Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell.

Josh adds that COPE peer specialists also work with the overdose survivor's family and friends to advise how to navigate insurance coverage, ways to get treatment and to provide the emergency-reversing Narcan nasal spray and educate them how to use it. "It has already proven to be a successful program, and money coming from this year's Color 5K will help to expand it," he says.

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, says, "Never before was a service like the COPE program available, especially to the extent that it is now. We were so disappointed to have to take a break from the Color 5K because of the pandemic, but on October 9th, we'll be able to once again run – and walk – to fight the devastating control that opioids have taken on so many people that we love."

Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan says Chester County had 105 people die from drug overdoses in 2020, the majority of which involved fentanyl. "These deaths were preventable with intervention and treatment. My office wholeheartedly supports the Color 5K because it's a chance for our community to unite in a fun, healthy way against the devastating effects of drugs," she says.

For all information on the 2021 Chester County Color 5K, visit