Operation Red Nose kicked off their 22nd season in Kamloops today.
Last year, the program raised $35,000 for PacificSport, which helped support various local athletes get to their goals.
This year, they hope to match or better that goal.
Carolynn Boomer, the Executive Director of PacificSport Interior BC is proud of the partnership.
“Many people may not donate to amateur sport, it’s not on their hitlist,” Boomer added. “However, they care about getting their vehicle in the driveway and a safe ride home, and then they choose to donate.”
“It’s a win-win situation for us.”
Fifteen days of service will start on November 30 and will run on Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays in December, and on New Year’s Eve.
Coordinator Shannon Guglielmini says the program helps keep Kamloops roads safe.
“You get to that end of that night and having Operation Red Nose as an option just keeps people from making that wrong decision of taking their own keys in their hands and going home,” she said.
“It’s a huge community builder, we have so many volunteers, not only them but also supporters of Red Nose and the sponsors.”
She said the average donation for a trip is about $27, the money goes directly to PacificSport, who decides how to distribute the money.
“An athlete has to be carded as an elite athlete to be a part of PacificSport, and to get to that level alone is quite financially tough on a family,” she added. “So, PacificSport tries to help them out and get the money back into their travel funds.”
Cpl. Darren Angman addressed the gathering of volunteers, sponsors, and athletes, and said the RCMP can’t tackle the issue of impaired driving alone.
“Impaired driving tragedies occur every day in this country, and we try to keep our roads safe,” he said. “Though the holidays, it becomes an even bigger challenge for us.”
“For every one of these people given an alternative for a safe ride home, it’s potentially a life saved.”
Last year, Operation Red Nose volunteers completed 1,338 trips. Guglielmini says they’re hoping to fill about 600 positions with about 250 volunteers this year. They currently have about 60 volunteers signed up.
If you’d like a ride, you can contact 250-372-5110, or download the free mobile app.