An annual 5K run to raise funds for drug prevention programming will return to Pickerington this month.
The third annual Tyler's Light 5K will take off from Victory Park in Pickerington at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 27.
Registration is open for the event, which in each of its first two years drew more than 1,000 participants.
Sign-up can be completed in advance of the run at www.tylers light.com, or beginning at 11 a.m. April 27, the day of the event.
The cost is $20 for students, $25 for adults and $60 for families of up to five.
Proceeds will go to the nonprofit Tyler's Light organization, which since 2011 has sought to share its "Speak Up, Save a Life" message and drug prevention education to Pickerington and communities throughout Fairfield County.
"This is an exciting, family-friendly event for Tyler's Light and the community," said Wayne Campbell, Tyler's Light President.
Campbell and others in the community established Tyler's Light following the death of Campbell's 23-year-old son, Tyler, because of a heroin overdose in July 2011.
"By bringing people together in the spirit of competition and celebration, we're creating an opportunity for parents, teachers and coaches to start a dialogue with kids about the dangers of drugs," Campbell said.
In addition to a professionally-timed 5K run through Olde Pickerington Village and other parts of the city, this year's Tyler's Light event will feature live music and a 1 p.m. "Toddler Trot" for children 5 and younger.
There also will be a variety of vendors on hand throughout the day's activities.
"We've always had over 1,000 runners," said Rachael Glanzman, a Tyler's Light media relations coordinator and member of the group's fundraising committee.
"This year, we have it on a lot of running websites because we're hoping to spread awareness beyond Fairfield County.
"We want to spread our message to other parts of central Ohio."
Event organizers said Tyler's Light has shared the dangers of drugs with more than 40,000 students and adults since forming in 2011.
That, coupled with efforts such as the Ohio Attorney General's Office initiative to establish an investigative unit to combat the use of heroin, has sought to reduce the number of children, teens and young adults that are turning to addictive and dangerous prescription medications and street drugs, Campbell said.
But Tyler's Light officials said a recent study found 11 people in Ohio die every week from heroin overdoses.
"The threat to our community is real, but together we can stop the drug epidemic and keep our kids safe," Campbell said. "Please show your support by joining us at the Tyler's Light 5K event."