Operation Red Nose mascot Rudy talks with Sherry from PacificSport Fraser Valley during Saturday’s Drive 4 UR Community event involving Magnuson Ford and PriceSmart Foods. The event raised close to $8

Safer roads with Red Nose

30 Rotary members volunteer their time to help keep local roads safe at Christmas

Three decades ago, Bruce Beck lost five friends at the hands of a drunk driver. All members of the same youth organization, Beck says that tragic event has left an indelible impression on him. And for the families of those who died, unfathomable grief.

“Time doesn’t fill the kind of hole that leaves behind,” said Beck.

So when he and 30 members of the Rotary Club of Abbotsford decided to volunteer for Operation Red Nose (ORN), it was an easy sell.

When a call is made to ORN,  a volunteer drives the customer’s car home while a second volunteer trails in the ORN vehicle. It offers holiday revelers the chance to get home safe and sound while having their car parked in the driveway.

The Rotary Club member encourages other service groups, businesses and individual to volunteer.

Operation Red Nose for Mission-Abbotsford began Friday, Nov. 25.

ORN Mission-Abbotsford is being run by PacificSport Fraser Valley, the organization to first bring the program to B.C. 16 years ago. Since then, 11 more programs have been formed to bring ORN to more than 25 communities across the province.

ORN is the annual fundraiser for PacificSport and donations are used to develop and deliver sport programs and services throughout the Valley. Half of all donations go directly to regional high-performance athletes in the form of travel and performance grants.

In 2011, ORN Mission-Abbotsford provided 842 safe rides home, totalling 24,000 kilometres. The program’s goal this year is to reach 1,000 safe rides. While the service is free, donations help to offset the costs.

The service continues the weekend of Dec. 14, 15,  again on Dec. 21 and 22 and concludes on New Year’s Eve. All hours of operation are from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.

To volunteer in Mission-Abbotsford, call Community Policing at 604-864-4814. All volunteers must go through a criminal record check and have their driver’s licence validated, free of charge.

You can also call toll free at 1-877-604-NOSE.

For more information about ORN, visit www.operationrednose.com or call 604-746-0601.

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