PA Operation Red Nose reports rider increase in 2023

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald -- Volunteer Dispatcher John Alexandersen manned the dispatch station at the Coronet Hotel for Operation Red Nose on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2023.

Operation Red Nose saw an increase in rides and continued community support in 2023.

There was a 30 per cent increase in riders in 2023.  Over 11 nights, 377 people received rides. Twenty-six volunteer drivers provided 170 rides helping citizens and their vehicles arrive home safely. Volunteers drivers travelled more than 2,500 km for roughly 850 hours.

In 2022, the service provided 275 people with 130 riders, while volunteers put in roughly 600 hours.

The number of donations also increased. Patrons donated $5,259 to Operation Red Nose in 2023, compared to $3,582 in 2022. The Prince Albert Lions Club will donate the funds to local elementary schools and other programming.

The PA Lions Club extended their gratitude to PA optimists, Shriners and Lions Club volunteers, and others for their continued support during the 12th annual Operation Red Nose campaign.

“Local car dealers provided their shuttles to use as escort vehicles, pizza places provided food to keep the volunteers well fed, donut shops provided coffee and donuts to keep them awake over the long nights and a hotel for provided us with a headquarters this year,” reads a Prince Albert Operation Red Nose press release. “Businesses also provided printing services for posters and business cards and local media helped advertise the program. Other businesses provided cash donations to assist with program expenses.  Without this support it would very difficult to help keep city streets safe.”

Across Canada, Operation Red Nose provided 30,000 safe rides in 80 communities between Nov. 24 and Dec. 31, with 27,920 volunteers providing rides to 30,761 people. This year, Operation Red Nose celebrated 40 years across Canada and 15 years in Saskatchewan. 

“The success of the 40th annual campaign is the fruit of commitment and generosity from thousands of volunteers and partners who are dedicated to our mission,” said Operation Red Nose president and founder Jean-Marie De Koninck. “Together, we have once again succeeded in making roads safer for the holiday season, and I feel pride and immense gratitude for all who have contributed to this adventure.”