Operation Red Nose returns this weekend

CHRISTINE DALGLEISH Citizen staff It’s a wonderful program that provides a safe ride home for you and your vehicle,



Glacier Media



There’s nothing like a full worry-free safe-ride-home service for those who are celebrating during the festive season. Need a safe ride home for you and your vehicle? Operation Red Nose is hitting the road once again this year after a twoyear absence because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a call out for volunteers as there’s a need for about 300 people to join the fundraising project that sees the Nechako Rotary Club and the Prince George RCMP partnering with ICBC to provide rides for nine nights starting Nov. 25 and 26 and continuing every Friday and Saturday night until Dec. 17. There’s a break for Christmas weekend and then the service resumes on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31. Here’s how it works: Once the call comes into the dispatch office a driver for the client vehicle, their navigator, and an escort vehicle driver goes to get the client. The client’s car can be filled up with as many people as there are seatbelts. Rides are provided for a donation, where all proceeds go to Prince George community youth and amateur sports programs. Those requesting a ride should keep in mind that their vehicle must be insured, in good working order and have a BC licence plate. The phone number to call is 250-963-7233 or 250-963-RIDE. Calls will be accepted beginning at 9 p.m. for that evening’s ride. “We then find the client where they’re at – a house party, an office Christmas party, or a pub,” Ken Pendergast, coordinator for Operation Red Nose in Prince George, said. “When possible the navigator will accompany the designated driver of the client’s vehicle.” It’s a safety component for both the client and the driver, Pendergast added. The safe ride home doesn’t just have to be directly home. If a client wants to stop at the ATM or make another stop, including a drive thru, Operation Red Nose drivers grant those requests. If the client has other people with them that need to be dropped off at another destination, they will be delivered first and then the client will be delivered last and that includes the babysitter – but the client will go along for the ride to deliver the sitter and Operation Red Nose will once again deliver the client back home. It’s all about making sure everyone arrives at their destination safely, without risk of someone who shouldn’t be driving getting behind the wheel, Pendergast explained. And there’s always a need for volunteers. “We need about 25 teams for New Year’s Eve because it’s really, really busy,” Pendergast said. “It’s a wonderful program that provides a safe ride home for you and your vehicle.” For more information or to volunteer visit www.ornpg.ca/Home