It is too late to start a replacement Operation Red Nose for Langley and Surrey this year, but organizers are already looking to 2018.
The annual safe ride home program shut down after the Langley Gymanstics Foundation told the national Operation Red Nose program that it would be unable to take on the task this year, said Chris Wilson, a provincial spokesperson.
Now nearby communities will try to pick up some of the slack, but it won’t be the same as previous years, Wilson said.
The Ridge Meadows, Abbotsford-Mission, and Delta-Richmond Operation Red Nose groups will still be operating this year.
Some volunteers from Langley-Surrey may join those groups.
The other groups will try to offer some limited service into Langley-Surrey, but it won’t be nearly the level of service available under a full organization.
Operation Red Nose is looking forward to getting the service up and running again for the next holiday season.
“We’ve had a couple of people that are interested in helping out,” said Wilson.
He’s hoping that by next year, a new local charity can take over the operation. The national organization will provide help.
“There’s a lot of support helping new groups get going,” he said.
The donations raised by the project go towards local youth initiatives. Organizers can specify a local recipient of the funds raised.
Every year on Friday and Saturday nights through the holiday season, Operation Red Nose volunteers hit the roads to help people who’ve had a few drinks get home.
Volunteers take the recipients home in their own cars. The programs accept donations but don’t require them, to avoid discouraging people from using the service. There are three volunteers per ride, including a driver, a navigator, and the driver of the escort car.