The re-birth of Operation Red Nose for Surrey and Langley residents is also good news for those who have one, two – or even a few – too many and call White Rock home, officials confirm.
Langley Minor Hockey Association announced in October that they had taken over the reins of Operation Red Nose for the 2019 holiday season, and would be offering the volunteer ride service in Langley and Surrey.
This week, group administrator Jennifer Kingwell confirmed community support since the announcement means “we can absolutely offer this campaign to residents of White Rock.”
“This is GREAT news!” White Rock RCMP exclaimed in a Nov. 26 tweet that followed the news.
Have you heard???? @ORNose #OperationRedNose has just confirmed they will be available in #Whiterock starting this coming Friday! This is GREAT news! #saferidehomebc #counterattack2019 #ArriveAlive https://t.co/WhcyYfZvSN
— White Rock RCMP (@WhiteRockRCMP) November 26, 2019
Operation Red Nose offers by-donation rides home to party-goers. Named in honour of “the most famous reindeer of all,” it first arrived in B.C. in 1996.
It has been a few years since such a service has been available locally, though service providers in 11 other cities in the Lower Mainland, including Maple Ridge, Abbotsford-Mission and Chilliwack, offered the fundraising-driven drop-offs in those areas.
White Rock RCMP Const. Chantal Sears recalled an incident last year in White Rock that highlighted the need for the service in this city.
She said a man she pulled over who failed a roadside breathalyzer test told her he only got behind the wheel out of frustration, after trying for two hours to get a cab.
Starting this weekend – and continuing every Friday and Saturday through Dec. 21, as well as on Tuesday, Dec. 31 – Operation Red Nose will be available on a first-come, first-served basis between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.
A team of three volunteers will pick up callers and drive them in their own vehicle to the destination of their choice. One volunteer drives, a second navigates and a third follows in an escort vehicle to pick up the volunteers – all free of charge.
“There is no expectation other than people can have the option to donate if they want,” Michelle Cowan, vice-president of operations for LMHA, said.
Funds raised through donations, tips and sponsorships will benefit the host organization.
The number to call for a ride is 604-539-9082.
– with files from Ryan Uytdewilligen