Regardless of whether you’re the host or a guest, ensuring everyone finds a safe ride home over the holidays can sometimes be a cause for concern.
This holiday season, nearly 400 partygoers in Brandon played it safe and opted to take advantage of a free ride home via the Operation Red Nose designated-driver program.
“Everything went really well and there were no incidents,” said Gladden Smith, the chair of the Brandon Operation Red Nose program.
Smith added that there was a drop in rides this past year of about 75 or so.
“Our rides are down from last year,” he said.
“I guess more people are finding other ways of getting home and maybe not even taking their vehicles with them when they leave for the night.”
The idea behind Operation Red Nose is that they not only pick you up, but also your vehicle.
A team of three volunteers pick you and your car up, and drives you in your own vehicle home, all free of charge.
A group of nearly 200 volunteers, including teams from several local businesses, help make Operation Red Nose possible each year, collecting roughly $10 to $15 donations per ride.
“We couldn’t do this without all of our volunteers,” Smith said.
“They come out and work very hard and give up their nights to make sure that other people can go out and have a good time.”
Operation Red Nose in Brandon raised $4,300 this past year, while across Manitoba a total of $72,000 was collected. Smith said donations collected in Brandon will be distributed amongst several local youth sports organizations.
“Each year we try to focus on giving back to youth sports,” he said.
Along with the helpful volunteers, Smith said it’s their yearly sponsors that keep the Red Nose tradition running every year.
“Without our sponsors we wouldn’t be able to feed all of our volunteers throughout the night and we were very happy that the Keystone Centre provided us with a room to work out of.”
Operation Red Nose is offered in several cities across Manitoba from Nov. 30 to Dec. 22 between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. each year.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 5, 2013