Operation Red Nose has a new coordinator for the upcoming holiday season.
Deborah Pickering has stepped in to fill the shoes of Dave Dickson who previously brought the program to Williams Lake and ran it for many years.
“It’s a big job, but I have got a lot of people who have done it before helping me,” Pickering said. “I am coordinating a community effort.”
The program will be offering safe rides home the evenings of Nov. 25, 26, Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17 and 31 – nine nights all together.
Donations received from the public for the rides are shared between four non-profit youth groups, who also provide volunteers during the nine nights.
This year’s recipients are Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddlers, Williams Lake Minor Hockey U18 Female Rep, Camp Likely and the Cariboo Chilcotin Gymnastics Club.
Additionally, members of the community volunteer to bolster the numbers.
Local car dealerships will provide one vehicle each per night and on New Years’ Eve they will each provide two, ICBC provides the extra coverage and the RCMP provide criminal record checks for the drivers free of charge, they also check the driver’s licenses of all the drivers.
Pickering said any businesses wanting to donate can do so through the Williams Lake Community Policing Committee by contacting her at 250-267-7326 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For the last 12 years, Pickering has volunteered with restorative justice and with citizens on patrol off and on since 2009.
Because of that experience, community policing contacted her and asked if she would organize Operation Red Nose this year.
“What an honour,” she added. “I am not trying to replace Dave – he sets a high bar.”