The 20th annual Operation Red Nose kicked off its annual campaign in Abbotsford on Friday.
Peter Fassbender, the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development & Minister Responsible for TransLink, ICBC program manager Aileen Shibata, Abbotsford acting mayor Coun. Patricia Ross, MLA Darryl Plecas, Operation Red Nose executive director Guylaine Beaupré and Rudy the Rudolph all made appearances during the event at Sevenoaks shopping centre.
From Nov. 27 to Dec. 31, more than 50,000 citizens hit the road to help provide people with an additional option to get home safe and avoid drinking and driving. Abbotsford is one of 13 communities in B.C. to receive the service.
The 2015 campaign also marks an important chapter in the history of Operation Red Nose, since the organization will reach the milestone of two million rides on Nov. 28. This number represents the number of Canadians who have made the responsible decision to plan a safe ride by calling upon the Operation Red Nose service to get home safe.
“This year marks 20 years that we’ve been a proud partner of Operation Red Nose in B.C.,” Shibata said. “We know how much this program helps to keep our roads safe during the holidays. If your festivities involve alcohol, make sure you plan ahead for a safe ride home by calling ORN.”
ICBC supports Operation Red Nose by providing auto insurance, creating promotional materials for the campaign, and encouraging employees to volunteer for ORN in their communities.
In each of the communities where the organization offers its free safe ride service, citizens mobilize themselves to volunteer one night or more during the holiday season in order to help make their community safer while helping raise funds for local youth programs. Last year, $1.5 million was raised in client donations, and turned over to youth or amateur sports organizations.
For more information on the local campaign, visit facebook.com/OperationRedNoseAbbotsfordMission.