The 2019 edition of Operation Red Nose is officially underway.
Drivers will provide rides around the Flin Flon area for people unsuited to drive home on nine separate nights in November and December - Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21 and Dec. 31.
Details for this year’s campaign were given by committee chair Ted Hewitt following a presentation at the Nov. 21 Flin Flon Rotary Club meeting. This year’s honorary chair for Operation Red Nose in the Flin Flon area is Creighton Mayor Bruce Fidler.
“It’s a very important service, to keep impaired drivers off the road, especially at this time of year. During the holiday season, people want to go out and enjoy themselves and relax. Having a safe ride home is number one, to get home to your family,” Fidler said.
“It keeps impaired drivers off the road. When we discuss this with RCMP, they say it helps them a lot. It prevents accidents and it’s a good safety event,” said Hewitt.
Last year, $13,000 was raised in Flin Flon through tips from people seeking rides home, from business donations and money from the Manitoba Safety Council. Money raised through Operation Red Nose goes to local youth and recreation groups. The Phantom Lake Soccer Club, Flin Flon Minor Hockey, Flin Flon Ski Club, the Aqua Centre and swimming programs have all received donations through the service, Hewitt said.
“It’s well used. Every year, it’s been up and down over the years, but it’s been good. We might see a little less this year because we’re only doing nine nights and some years we do 11.”
“We’re actually one of the few Red Nose organizations in Manitoba that don’t know where the money is going. In Winnipeg, it goes to their swimming program. With us, once we have the money, we wait for people to contact us and say, ‘We have this program here, can you donate?’ then we discuss that,” Hewitt said.
Some of the nights this year still have vacancies for drivers, including Nov. 30.
“I do know that, come Nov. 30, I’m going to have three teams,” he said.
“I know that, in December, the only dates I’m worried about are Dec. 21 and New Year’s Eve is always a problem. We’ll end up with six to eight teams of people involved.”
Potential drivers can call Hewitt at 204-687-7450 or visit the Operation Red Nose Flin Flon Facebook page to volunteer.