Kamloops was at the front of the Operation Red Nose sleigh this year.
The city finished first in B.C. for the number of rides provided to party-goers who didn’t feel they could drive home.
Katie Klassen, Operation Red Nose co-ordinator, said Friday that 1,129 rides were given in the 11 nights the program ran, and $27,522 raised for PacificSport.
That was enough to put Kamloops in top spot out of 13 B.C. communities.
On New Year’s Eve alone, the grand finale for Red Nose, volunteers gave 142 rides and collected $3,814 in donations.
In total, 210 volunteers drove 23,312 kilometres during the program to get everyone home safely. Many of the volunteers helped out on more than one night, Klassen said.
Kamloops also got an edge in that it was the only community doing an extra weekend of driving on Dec. 27 and 28, she said.
“That is a another reason why we did so well compared with the other communities.”
Not only do volunteers get to keep people safe, they also get to drive some nice wheels. Klassen said one volunteer got behind the wheel of a souped-up Hummer.
Just why the response from riders was higher this year than in the past, she wasn’t sure. But she did note there were a lot of newcomers.
“I think more people are aware. I got a lot of phone calls from people asking how the program works. A lot of people using it for the first time, a lot of young people,” she said.
B.C.’s numbers overall showed 4,347 volunteers helped to provide 7,768 rides. Nationally, there were 82,530 rides given by 56,437 volunteers in 106 communities.