December 22, 2015 - 4:16 PM
KAMLOOPS - It’s been a busy driving season for the 220 volunteers at Operation Red Nose in Kamloops, but as the group winds down their nineteenth year, there’s plenty to reflect on.
Katie Klassen leads the local initiative and says the group’s close to its fundraising goal of $32,000 by New Year’s Eve — their busiest day.
"Across B.C. we are the most used out of 13 host communities. We are close to the top 10 in Canada out of 104 host communities,” Klassen says.
This year, the group gave 964 safe rides home to people or groups in the community who felt they had a little too much to drink at their holiday parties.
Klassen provided infoNEWS.ca with a few funny and heart-warming pick-ups from her crew of volunteers:
* We had a call to a bowling alley on the North Shore and our team arrived to pick the people up. They didn’t realize that the volunteers would be there so quick (and they had) just ordered a jug of beer. Our volunteers were not in a rush to leave but the client insisted that they would drink the beer fast so they could leave. They drank the beer really fast and left the bowling alley. Once they got home in Dallas they realized that they forgot to take off their bowling shoes and switch into their own shoes. They were still in the fancy bowling shoes. They had to call their friends that were still at the bowling alley to grab their shoes.
* Our mascot Rudy went to a pub to promote the service with other volunteers in the red vests and hand out the Operation Red Nose business cards. There was a man who had too much to drink and tried to give Rudy a hug. Instead he punched the big red nose off the mascot and Rudy was left without a nose. That was the last time Rudy made a late-night appearance.
* Volunteers picked up this couple and the wife started commenting to the husband about how much the car they were riding in looked like theirs. They even had the same mirror hanger on the review mirror and she was so amazed that they had the same one. The husband had to tell her that they were in their own vehicle, not in the volunteer’s vehicle.
* We had a man who had way too much to drink and was throwing up in the vehicle. He was apologizing profusely and said he would pay to have the vehicle cleaned. The volunteers were laughing and kept telling him that he was in his own car, puking in his own car, not the volunteer’s car.
* A while ago a team picked up a client who was under the legal drinking age but decided to call Operation Red Nose. He got home safely. Then an hour later his mom called the Operation Red Nose line to thank us for driving her son home safely and for basically saving his life.
* We drove home a 19-year-old that still had his “N’ and he was telling us that he only had one drink that night but didn’t want to risk driving home so he called Operation Red Nose.
To contact Operation Red Nose for a ride home during the holidays, call 250-320-0650.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at email@example.com or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015