Red Nose service kicks off to busy start

Operation Red Nose service kicks off to busy start.

Whether holiday revellers had too much holiday cheer or just didn’t feel comfortable driving on the slick rainy roads, Operation Red Nose volunteers were there to drive them safely home.

The service kicked off to a busy start Nov. 25-26, with Rudy’s little helpers driving 1,682 kilometres during 69 rides to get 157 people to their destinations.

Although the service is free, donations are accepted and passengers were generous with their pocketbooks, donating $1,400.

Money raised from Operation Red Nose supports Pacific Sport’s Active Star and XploreSportz camps for children and youth, youth leadership programs in elementary schools and athlete services.

Grace Bell, Operation Red Nose coordinator, said service on the opening evenings went well.

“It went really smoothly. We didn’t have any major snags,” she said.

Demand increased from last year’s launch weekend – volunteers provided eight more rides than last year on Friday night and nine on Saturday. The busy nights were made a little less stressful thanks to an extra team of volunteers.

Volunteers are still needed to help fill shifts and get people home safely, especially because Red Nose if providing 12 nights of service this year instead of its regular 10 nights.

As the holiday season progresses, more teams will be needed to ensure smooth operations each night and that people calling in for service can be driven to their destinations.

Operation Red Nose offers services from Lantzville to Ladysmith from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. People can call the Red Nose hotline at 250-755-6969 for a ride. Operation Red Nose offers service Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 22, 23, 30 and New Year’s Eve.

To volunteer, please e-mail nanaimo@operationrednose.com or call 250-740-6572.

reporter3@nanaimobulletin.com