Tuesday, 29 November 2016 08:00

Operation Red Nose in Lethbridge seeks volunteers

Written by  J.W. Schnarr
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University of Lethbridge Pronghorns rugby scrum-half Eden Hoff and thrower Peter Millman join Lethbridge Police Service’s Jonathan Brunning and Wade Davidson to help kick-off this year’s Operation Red Nose campaign starting later this month. University of Lethbridge Pronghorns rugby scrum-half Eden Hoff and thrower Peter Millman join Lethbridge Police Service’s Jonathan Brunning and Wade Davidson to help kick-off this year’s Operation Red Nose campaign starting later this month. Southern Alberta Newspapers photo by Ian Martens

A local program providing a safe option to get local residents and their vehicles safely home over the holidays is once again looking for volunteers.


The Operation Red Nose 22nd annual Holiday campaign in Lethbridge starts Nov. 25.
The program is dedicated to the fight against impaired driving. During the Christmas holiday season, individuals who have been drinking or who do not feel fit to drive can be driven home in their own vehicle by a team of Red Nose volunteers.
There is no fee for the service, but donations are accepted.
The donations are part of a fundraising activity for the University of Lethbridge Pronghorn Athletics.  
Over the past 21 years, more than $646,000 has been raised in support for the Pronghorn teams.
Ken McInnes, U of L executive director of sport and recreation, said the event is a major fundraiser for sport teams at the university.
“The funds go straight down to the athletes and their travel,” he said.
“It goes into awards as well.”
Eden Hoff is a third-year marketing student and scrum-half for the women’s U of L rugby team and will be involved in Operation Red Nose this year.
“One of the things that speaks to me is giving back to the Lethbridge Community that has given so much to us,” she said. “They are our biggest supporters. They are the ones who come in the cold weather and when it’s smoking hot outside.
“When we win or when we lose, the Lethbridge community is there, and so we really like to give back to them, and say thanks, and make sure everyone gets home.”
Sgt. Wade Davidson with the LPS Traffic Response Unit, said LPS is supportive of programs such as Operation Red Nose.
“Over the holiday season, we put a special emphasis on (traffic safety and impaired driving) because there are a lot more people out socializing,” he said.
He hoped people who do choose to drink will be doing so responsibly.
The record for number of rides in one campaign was set in 2011, when 1,428 rides were provided.
Last season, Operation Red Nose provided 993 rides with the help from more than 550 volunteers, but last year, Operation Red Nose was cancelled on New Years’ Eve due to a lack of volunteers. McInnes said the popularity of the evening makes it a tough night to find the help needed to make the evening possible.
“Last year, we didn’t quite have enough volunteers, and we had to make that decision,” he said. “This year, we’ve done it a bit differently. We’ve been very proactive as we’re setting things up to have at least the base number of teams that night. We already have the base amount in place. Now we’re looking for volunteers to fill that up so we can respond faster.”
 Davidson said local residents are encouraged to plan in advance how they are going to get home. Those plans could include Operation Red nose, taxi services, transit, or “anything other than getting behind the wheel after drinking.”
“Please do not drink and drive,” he said.
Operation Red Nose Lethbridge
Dates of Operation in 2016:
• Most Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in December and New Year’s Eve. (Nov. 25, 26, Dec. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 31).
• Hours of operation are from 9:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. Operation Red Nose phone number: 403-320-4155.
For information about volunteering, Christmas party reservations, or other questions, contact Pronghorn Athletics, 403-329-2681 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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