Rotary Club of Williams Lake president Ashlee Hyde presents cheques in the amount of $3,000 each to Operation Red Nose recipients, Elmer Thiessen (left) for Camp Likely, Trudy Rick of the Williams Lake Gymnastics Club, Joni Wonnacott of the Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddlers and Chad Webb, Blue Fins Swim Club coach, Bob Sunner from Community Policing who helped run Operation Red Nose, is standing next to Thiessen. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Rotary Club of Williams Lake president Ashlee Hyde presents cheques in the amount of $3,000 each to Operation Red Nose recipients, Elmer Thiessen (left) for Camp Likely, Trudy Rick of the Williams Lake Gymnastics Club, Joni Wonnacott of the Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddlers and Chad Webb, Blue Fins Swim Club coach, Bob Sunner from Community Policing who helped run Operation Red Nose, is standing next to Thiessen. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Operation Red Nose drives home 719 people

Co-ordinator credits community

It’s a wrap with another 6,555 kilometres covered by Operation Red Nose in the Williams Lake area during the holiday season.

Co-ordinator Dave Dickson said 215 volunteers provided a total of 360 rides for 719 people during the nights the program was offered.

Thankful to all the program’s supporters, Dickson praised Heartland Toyota, Lake City Ford, Ron Ridley Rentals, Cariboo GM and Gustafson’s Chrysler Jeep for providing the vehicles.

“Heartland Toyota is where we worked out of every night,” he added.

He also credited the Williams Lake RCMP, the City of Williams Lake, Lakers Car Club, Progressive Printers, PMT Chartered Accountants, Panago Pizza, Red Tomato Pies, Taylor Made Cakes, Community Policing, Mike Austin Financial, Rotary Club of Williams Lake, the Goat FM and the Williams Lake Tribune for their support.

“I also want to thank Jack Burgar who volunteered every night and miscellaneous volunteers who came out for a night like Mayor Walt Cobb, Hal Giles and the TRU nursing students,” Dickson said.

Each year the proceeds from the program, generated by donations given by the people who are given rides, go to four groups.

This year’s recipients are Cariboo Chilcotin Gymnastics, Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddlers, Blue Fins Swim Club and Camp Likely who received $3,000 each during the Rotary Club of Williams Lake regular luncheon Wednesday.

On behalf of Camp Likely, Elmer Thiessen said the money will go a long way.

The camp’s season was hampered in 2017 by the wildfires, resulting in the camp not being able to run at all, Thiessen said.

After the cheques were presented, Rotary past president Joanna Sanders acknowledged Dickson for his 15 years of service and dedication to running Operation Red Nose.

Now that the season has finished, Dickson said he starts planning for next year already.

Nationally, the Operation Red Nose campaign involved 51,261 volunteers in 100 Canadian communities, who provided a total of 71,430 safe rides.

This story was updated from the original after the cheques were presented to the groups on Jan. 17.