Operation Red Nose Surrey-Langley gave rides for the past month, but does not have enough volunteers to facilitate New Years Eve. (Michelle Cowan/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

No Operation Red Nose rides in Surrey/Langley for New Year’s Eve

Due to lack of volunteers, Langley group suspends service for planned final night

Operation Red Nose (ORN) will not run in Surrey-Langley on New Year’s Eve due to a lack of volunteers.

After 10 outings every Friday and Saturday since Nov. 29, ORN will not operate on its final scheduled night of Tuesday, Dec. 31 – typically the busiest night for the service.

ORN was brought back by Langley Minor Hockey Association (LMHA) after a two-year hiatus – the local Gymnastics Foundation stopped hosting the program in 2016, giving people under the influence of alcohol a free ride home in their own vehicle.

Michelle Cowan, vice president of operations at LMHA, made the call on Sunday and said it was not an easy decision to make.

READ MORE: Saving Lives One Ride Home at a Time

”While the demand for the service that night is extraordinary, we simply do not have the volunteers to run the operation that night. It was determined it would be more prudent to cancel and give advance notice to the users of the service so they can make alternate arrangements in advance of Tuesday night,” Cowan explained.

She said despite having a tough month of recruiting volunteers, the campaign had been successful and even exceeded expectations their first year.

Rudy the reindeer mascot was sent into local pubs and bars, handing out slips of paper with the ORN phone number all season long – he even participated in check stops with the RCMP.

The volunteer service was hosted by LMHA in order to raise funds for to keep local hockey fees down. Many parents of players served as volunteers this season.

There has been no announcement if the organization will continue to host ORN next holiday season.

“Thank you for all of your support, it has been a tremendous help to ORN and LMHA,” Cowan said.

Other ORN services are still scheduled to run including Abbotsford and the Tri-Cities.

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Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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