Barbra Spaans is a longtime volunteer with Operation Red Nose Langley-Surrey

Operation Red Nose makes Langley roads safer

A large number of calls has put pressure on the seasonal designated driver program. More volunteers are needed.

There is one final opportunity to help make the roads safer during the holiday season through Operation Red Nose (ORN).

Dec. 31 is the final night of operation for the designated driving program this year, and volunteers in Langley and Surrey are needed to ease the workload on New Year’s Eve.

The program ran Fridays and Saturdays in late November and December (Nov. 27 and 28 and Dec. 4, 5, 11, 12, and 18, 19), with the exception of Christmas Day and Boxing Day and so far in Langley and Surrey, there have been 560 rides, with 175 volunteers giving their time to the cause.

“As for how the overall campaign has gone so far, it has been good but we are lacking in volunteers,” said Meagan Castron, event and marketing coordinator with Langley Gymnastics Foundation, which serves as ORN Langley-Surrey headquarters and a benefiting charity.

Castron added, “the call volume from the community has been great, a lot of people thinking ahead and calling to ask questions during the week and a lot calling on operation nights.”

But with that large call volume comes demand, and it’s been a challenge for volunteers.

On average, ORN Langley-Surrey are assembling around 10 to 15 teams per night, but for the program to be successful and meet the demand, it would need closer to 20 teams. Volunteers do not work alone.

“We understand that this is a busy time of year for everyone, but it can also be a dangerous time out on the roads if people are getting behind the wheel after an evening of celebrating,” Castron said. “To sum it up, the more volunteers we have, the more rides we can give and the safer the community will be.”

More volunteers are needed to drive on New Year’s Eve, the last night of operation for 2015. Anyone interested can contact Castron at meaganc@langleygymnastics.ca or go to the Langley Gymnastics Foundation website at langleygymnastics.ca and follow the sign up link.

People needing a ride home in Langley, Surrey, or White Rock on New Year’s Eve, can call 604-532-0888.

One hundred per cent of the funds raised are turned over to local youth and amateur sports organizations. And while donations are gratefully accepted, even if a person’s pockets are empty, ORN elves will provide a ride home.

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