2023's edition of Operation Red Nose begins November 24th and 25th, the last weekend in November.
Coordinator Leo Lapointe notes it's a Friday and Saturday, and the program continues each Friday and Saturday following, beginning at 9:00 p.m. right through 3:00 a.m.
It's a volunteer-based designated driver program and caters to drivers not fit to drive, so that patrons can have a safe ride in their own vehicles although they aren't behind the wheel themselves.
The launch took place this past Tuesday at the Portage la Prairie RCMP detachment, with several local officials endorsing the much-needed and much-appreciated service. Lapointe displayed a certificate of recognition to those in attendance that the Portage group recently received from the Red Nose head office in Quebec.
Lapointe notes he felt honoured, and says he began helping out in 2006 when the program started in Portage.
"Since day one of volunteering, and then eventually taking over the coordinator position after Cindy Mulder, it's been an honour to do something like this," says Lapointe. "I think it's a really good service that we provide. It's free, and you can donate if you'd like. We have great sponsors and I just want to keep drinking and driving off the roads, and keep everybody safe during the holiday season. There'll be no casualties."
Lapointe adds it's the first time the Portage program has been recognized to this extent.
Volunteers to drive and navigate are always welcome.
The local number to call is (204) 239-5570. Proceeds of donations go toward Portage Minor Hockey.
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