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Runners to show heart for disabilities

BY LAUREL BLACKlblack@paducahsun.com

A race scheduled for Saturday will benefit people with disabilities in western Kentucky.

Funds from the Cupid's Chase 5K in Noble Park will go toward the nonprofit organization Community Options, which provides residential and employment services for people with severe disabilities.

"People with disabilities are sometimes forgotten about," Community Options executive director Casey Adams said. "There aren't many options out there as far as who will help these people get support."

The New Jersey-based nonprofit's Paducah and Benton offices support about 50 individuals in the area through residential and case management services. The organization's homes - four in Benton and two in Paducah - provide housing for a maximum of three people per home. Staff work around the clock in the homes, which Community Options purchases and maintains, Adams said.

"Most (people with severe disabilities) need 24-hour support to live, and that can be done in a community versus an institution. We provide the housing and 24-hour staffing to have that meaningful life so they don't have to go to an institution or a bigger group home setting," she said.

Community Options also works closely with local groups such as Easter Seals and the Department for Community Based Services.

Money raised from Saturday's race will support projects such as providing new flooring and other modifications for homes, as well as other efforts to improve residents' quality of life, such as purchasing new furniture and funding trips, Adams said.

Community Options also has offices in New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. The Cupid's Chase 5K usually happens simultaneously in these states before Valentine's Day, Adams said, but Paducah's was rescheduled from Feb. 8 due to the icy weather.

The race will take place at 10 a.m. in Noble Park. Race-day registration costs $50 and begins at 8 a.m. For more information on the Cupid's Chase 5K or Community Options' services, call 270-444-9470 or email casey.adams@comop.org.

Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641, or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.

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