With the holiday season around the corner, it's almost time for those bottles of tasty champagne and cozy dinner parties.
In its annual tradition, Operation Red Nose (ORN) campaign for Delta/Richmond, put on by Delta Gymnastics Society, is sending its members out on the road to ensure partygoers make it home safely.
And as ORN consists of volunteers, the service is calling on residents over the age of 19 to participate in the program. Volunteers can lend a helping hand as drivers, navigators or members of the dispatch office.
"We put three people together in a team and we're counting on 12 teams," said Carlene Lewall, coordinator of the local campaign.
Each team includes a driver dropping clients and their vehicles off at home, a navigator that comes along and communicates with the dispatch office, and a driver in a follow car escorting the entire team to its next destination.
The benefit of having Richmond drivers involved is their familiarity with the area, according to Lewall.
It's also an opportunity "to give back to the community by helping others to return home safely. You meet a lot of people, too, and it's a lot of fun," she added.
This year, the service runs in Richmond and Delta on Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 and 31.
"On New Year's Eve, we provide our volunteers with a meal and we have our own celebration. There are prizes to win and new friends to make," said Lewall.
Those willing to pitch in after a sober New Year's celebration are welcome, too, she stated, as phone calls peak after midnight.
Volunteers must have a criminal record check done ahead of time, for which they can download a form posted on ORN's website.
At the beginning of each shift, a short information session is held and then teams are sent out to various hotels, pubs and restaurants to promote the service to partygoers.
"We also encourage businesses to rely on our services for Christmas parties," said Lewall, adding local firms can invite Rudy, ORN's mascot along for their celebrations.
While the service is free, all donations received will be directed to the purchase of equipment for the Delta Sports Development Centre, home of Delta Gymnastics. For a safe ride home, call 604-943-0460. For more information or to apply, visit www.operationrednosedelta.com.