This holiday season marks the 11th consecutive campaign for Operation Red Nose in the Battlefords.
The annual campaign, where volunteers provide safe rides home for holiday revelers in their vehicles, kicked off Thursday, Nov. 14 at a launch event at Gold Eagle Casino. At that event organizers provided details about the upcoming campaign.
The service runs between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. starting Nov. 29 and 30, and continues each weekend until the new year: Dec. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21 and Dec. 31 New Year’s Eve. Phone numbers are 306-480-9876 and 306-480-9879.
The money raised stays within the community and goes to KidSport, a charity devoted to helping families facing financial barriers be able to enroll kids in sports activities in the community.
“We’re wanting to make this community better and it starts with the youth,” said David Schell, co-chair of Operation Red Nose and KidSport.
Last year, $21,000 was raised by Operation Red Nose for KidSport, with that entire amount staying in the community. Operation Red Nose is the largest fundraiser for KidSport annually.
KidSport is the local organizer for Operation Red Nose after taking over from the North Battleford Lions Club in 2018.
The Battlefords was the first community in Saskatchewan to host Operation Red Nose, which is a service set up in 100 communities all over Canada including four in Saskatchewan.
This year the national head office provided the Battlefords Operation Red Nose a “Golden Antler” award for demonstrating “exemplary respect for the standards and rules of Operation Red Nose.”
SGI are a provincial partner in Operation Red Nose, with Gold Eagle Casino, SaskTel and the car dealerships on board as sponsors as well. The city of North Battleford has waived criminal record checks for the volunteers signing up as well.
In 2018, Operation Red Nose drove more than 70,000 Canadians safely home with the participation of 50,000 volunteers, and raised 1.9 million towards local youth and amateur sports.