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Operation Red Nose ready for opening weekend

A group of eager and enthusiastic red-vested volunteers are ready to help keep Prince George safe during the 2019 holiday season, offering safe rides home to party-goers beginning this weekend, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 29 and 30.

“There will be 14 volunteer road teams of three on Friday night and another 15 on Saturday night on call ready to take anyone who does not feel fit to drive home,” said Andrea Johnson, Operation Red Nose spokesperson.

“Those who need a ride home can call us at 250-962-RIDE (7433) between 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. this weekend, as well as Dec. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21 and New Year’s Eve. They must have a vehicle with valid B.C. license plates.”

Entering its 22nd season, Operation Red Nose is holiday seasonal service, organized by the Rotary Club of Prince George – Nechako, in partnership with the Prince George RCMP and ICBC. It allows party-goers to not only get themselves home safely, but their vehicles too. The service is available on nine nights during the holiday season to those who do not feel fit to drive.

On average, about 15 volunteer road teams of three will be on call each night. Various non-profit and youth and sport organizations are volunteering for Operation Red Nose, including the Prince George Pathfinders, AiMHi – Prince George Association for Community Living, Canadian Ski Patrol, RCMP Victim Services, the P.A.R.T.Y (Preventing Alcohol Risk-Related Trauma in Youth Program) and the PG Blizzard Speedskating Club.

In comparison, in 2018, 14 teams provided 44 rides on the opening night, and 18 teams provided 82 rides on the second night.

The safe ride home service is by donation. Donations that Operation Red Nose receives from clients stay in Prince George and goes directly to local youth and amateur sport organizations.

So far, 165 people have signed up to volunteer with 127 approved applications. More are still needed to meet the demand for rides they expect during the holiday season, especially on New Year’s Eve.

Volunteers must be 19 years old and have a valid driver’s license. They can be part of a road team of three or work behind the scenes answering phones at Operation Red Nose headquarters. They can apply online at http://ornpg.ca/Home

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