ORN supplies fewer rides to Mission/Abby residents

Statistics show volunteers provided 798 safe rides home to tired and/or intoxicated drivers

The regional statistics for Operation Red Nose, which wrapped up New Year’s eve, have been released, and showed fewer people relied on the service in Abbotsford-Mission than last year.

A total of 798 safe rides for intoxicated drivers were provided between Nov. 26 and Jan. 1, the fourth highest total in the province, down from 842 total rides in 2010.

But on New Year’s eve, ORN Abbotsford-Mission provided 152 rides, just one shy of the previous year.

Regional coordinator Christine Scott attributed this year’s success to volunteers on both sides of the Fraser River, averaging between five to nine (the maximum) nights per volunteer.

Scott said one standout volunteer was Mission resident Lisa Craig.

“She worked seven nights at headquarters as a dispatcher, a very demanding position. She would often stay until the last road team returned to headquarters (approximately 4:30-5 a.m.) each night,” said Scott.

Craig and her brother, Abbotsford’s Robert Redekop, joined ORN in 2010 when they volunteered all nine nights.

The national safe ride program is organized across eight provinces. Throughout Canada, 58,683 volunteers contributed this season to provide 85,926 rides.

ORN is now present in 111 host communities, with the 2011 ORN campaign reaching the most communities since the program first began in 1984.