The Cold Lake Ag Society is taking over a holiday service that keeps people from drinking and driving during the holidays.
Operation Red Nose will now be run by the Ag Society after Cold Lake Victim Services Unit had to give up control of the program due to limited manpower and time.
Ag Society president Dustin Foulds has volunteered for the past five winters to help Operation Red Nose succeed and that’s why they decided to step up and take it over.
“It’s a really fun process. It’s always good to give back to the community. It’s good to see the community safe. I enjoy personally working with the people,” said Foulds.
Operation Red Nose gives rides to people during the weekends around Christmastime to avoid drinking and driving.
It has reduced the amount of potential impaired drivers in the city, with just one impaired driving charge during that span this year.
The Cold Lake Ag Society is doing a lot of the behind the scenes with currently with Victim Services program manager Dave Zimmerman to be prepared for the winter operation.
And while the push for volunteers is always important, Foulds would like to see it grow even more.
“Right now we’re kind of within the Cold Lake zone and only the zone within city limits. And there has been talks that there might be opportunities, if we get more volunteers, when the time comes and some more funding through sponsorships, to go towards the M.D. and further into the M.D.,” said Foulds.
“There’s been a lot of people, you know, who live in the Cherry Grove or the Riverhurst area that come to parties and go to the local establishments, and whatever in the city. Sometimes they would have liked to go that way, instead of having to get a taxi.
“I’m not guaranteeing it’ll ever happen, or it’ll happen in our first year, but it’s something that we like to go and look towards and try to get out there. If we can make a little bit wider of a boundary, then that’s not as many people that might take the risk of driving home.”
This will be the ninth year of service for Operation Red Nose.