Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Operation Red Nose needs some Rudolphs

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OPERATION Red Nose is looking for a few good drivers for New Year's Eve.

On Saturday, just over half of the volunteers needed to drive folks home on New Year's Eve were lined up, said Red Nose co-ordinator Sharra Hinton.

"My target this year is 40 teams," said Hinton. "Right now we have 22 teams." She said a criminal-record check is needed for volunteers, and she can arrange that today for any last-minute helpers.

Operation Red Nose is a unique December-only designated-driver program.

Drivers who've been drinking or are just tired from staying up too late can call to get a ride home for themselves and their passengers and have their vehicle safely driven home at the same time. The service is free, with donations going to youth sport programs.

So far this season, Hinton said, Operation Red Nose has given more than 1,000 rides on the nine nights they've operated, with close to 30 teams of three per night.

"Our numbers are up from last year," she said.

New Year's Eve is a big night for Operation Red Nose and its bright-eyed volunteers.

"You need a willingness to stay up late," said Hinton. "Our phone lines stay open till 3 a.m." Often, teams are not back before 5 a.m., she said.

To volunteer in Winnipeg, call 204-794-7339 or email volunteer@rednosewpg.ca

To get a ride on New Year's Eve in Winnipeg, Headingley or St. Norbert, call 204-947-6673.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 31, 2012 A5

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