By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario - The best way to start 2014 with a big bang is arriving home safely after celebrating New Year's Eve.
Get a safe ride home this New Year's Eve with Operation Red Nose (ORN). Pictured (left): Bryan Patterson, ORN national representative, Tim McQuaig, Seaway Hundai, Rudy, ORN mascot, Jonathan Symington, Warner Insurance, Ray Eady, Allstate Insurance, Trevor Mayer, Seaway GMC, and Lee Theodore, ORN chair.
During the party night of the year, Operation Red Nose (ORN) will be a phone call away for drivers, their vehicle and passengers wanting a safe ride home.
The service is free. But those getting a lift can make a donation to the Boys and Girls Club (BGC) of Cornwall/SDG.
"All of this will help BGC facilitate their child and youth programs in the community at several locations," said Lee Theodore, Operation Red Nose chair.
ORN operates on weekends throughout December. In the first two, the volunteer-driven service raised over $2,200.
Winter storms have provided a few obstacles, shutting down the operation on Dec. 27 and 28.
"A notable set back this year was a wintry mix but just as we afford safety to the community, it too must be afforded to the volunteers," said Theodore. "The numerous phone calls during that particular 'snowed out' weekend tells me that Cornwall has taken to Operation Red Nose."
This year's volunteer count is well over 100. They will be operating on New Year's Eve from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m. out of the BGC 506 Clubhouse on First Street East.
Theodore said positive energy and coffee are great motivators to keep volunteers on track during the late hours.
Local car dealerships like Toyota, KIA and Seaway GMC have also helped keep ORN in motion by donating vehicles and providing staff support during operating hours.
"Your vehicles have not only allowed the volunteers to feel safe but the patrons as well and your staff made us feel good within their company," said Theodore.
The Kinsmen Club of Cornwall, BGC, Grumpy's Sports Bar, The Cornwall Kinettes, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cornwall & District, MacEwen Gas and others have also sponsored the event.
"I would like to thank TC Media. People often bring me the cut out of your articles to remind me we were in the paper," he said.
Theodore encourages drivers to take a cab if ORN lines are busy or the wait time is too long.
Call ORN at 613-935-6761 or visit them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CornwallRedNose.
For a taxi, call Tip Top Taxi at 613-932-2727.