Operation Red Nose remains short on volunteers

Operation Red Nose remains in desperate need of volunteers.

With the first night of the designated driving service a mere 10 days away, it's just one-third towards its goal of 450 volunteers.

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"Without volunteers, Operation Red Nose can't go on," said spokesperson Andrea Johnson. "Not only do donations raised through ORN go to local amateur sport and youth organizations, but it could save a life."

Organizers will be at tonight's Cougars' game signing up volunteers.

Those interested but unable to make it to the game, are encouraged to visit www.ornpg.ca as soon as possible and fill out the online application form. Fill it out, print it and take it, along with your driver's license or other government photo identification, to the RCMP's main detachment at 450 Victoria St. where a criminal record check will be conducted.

On average, 15 road teams of three will be on call each night of service, working from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. This year, Operation Red Nose will be in service Nov. 28 and 29, Dec. 5 and 6, Dec. 12 and 13, Dec. 19 and 20 and New Year's Eve.

Once it gets going, partiers who have had too much to get behind the wheel are encouraged to call ORN at 250-960-RIDE (7433) for a ride home in their own vehicle, but with a volunteer doing the driving.

It will be the 19th year ORN has been operating in Prince George and if all works out, the 10,000th ride in the service's history will have been given on New Year's Eve.

For the first time in its history, the ORN provincial kick off was held in Prince George on Tuesday and national president Guylaine Beaupre was on hand to provide encouragement and promote the service, which began more than 30 years ago.

In all, 99 communities across seven provinces participate in ORN. Since its inception in 1984, more than one million volunteers have taken over 1.9 million people home in their own vehicles.

The free, seasonal service, organized by the Rotary Club of Prince George - Nechako, in partnership with the RCMP and ICBC, allows party-goers to not only get themselves home safely, but their vehicles too.

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