It was week two of Operation Red Nose in Burnaby, New Westminster and the Tri-Cities and the numbers continue to be record-breaking.
The volunteer-based designated driving service provided 160 rides on the weekend, which almost doubles the 89 rides offered the same weekend in 2011 when the service operated only in the Tri-Cities.
"We are ecstatic with how it's going," said Chris Wilson, Operation Red Nose coordinator. "Our first weekend and this past weekend's numbers were basically double what they were last year. It's really taking off in its first year in Burnaby and New Westminster."
Sixteen volunteer teams of three were on the road Friday night and twelve on Saturday. As strong as those numbers are, Wilson says they can still use more volunteers. "We had 95 volunteers (total) for both nights, but Saturday nights are crazy busy for us. Even though we had twelve teams, we could have used four or five more. The phone was ringing off the hook.
"I was so proud of the volunteer teams. A lot of them were volunteering with us for the first time and they covered a lot of miles criss-crossing the cities. They were pretty tired when they returned to headquarters, but they all had smiles on their faces. They had a lot of fun."
It's not too late to volunteer, but anyone who might be interested is encouraged to act fairly quickly. "It's really easy to become a volunteer, but the process can take a bit of time, so if anyone's interested, we ask that you act quickly," said Wilson. "If you're not interested in driving, we can also use some help answering the phones and dispatching."
Operation Red Nose is a free, seasonal service organized by KidSport and the Rotary Club of Coquitlam Sunrise, in partnership with ICBC, that not only allows party-goers to get home safely but their vehicles too.
The service runs between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. for the next two weekends and New Years Eve. Those wanting a ride can call 1-778-866-6673 (NOSE) during those hours. Pre-booking is not possible.
To volunteer for Operation Red Nose, email ORN@shaw.ca.
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