Operation Red Nose won’t be offered in Delta/Richmond this year.
After 17 years, the Delta Gymnastics Society has decided to no longer provide the service, which has been responsible for thousands of safe rides home over the holiday season.
Delta Gymnastics spokesperson Ellyn Schriber said the decision, after much thoughtful consideration, was not an easy one.
“We feel after 17 years that another program might like to take it on to provide benefit to the community and reap the rewards of such a great program,” she said. “We want to take this opportunity to thank all our valued volunteers, sponsors and partners whose yearly efforts and support have allowed us to keep our gym safe and up to date for our many members.”
Operation Red Nose, which has been in B.C. for more than two decades, was offered in 11 communities last year.
Chris Wilson, Operation Red Nose B.C. chapter spokesperson, said it’s unfortunate Delta Gymnastics won’t be offering the service in 2019.
“Delta Gymnastics has done a great job for so many years,” Wilson said. “There isn't another group running it this year in your coverage area, but we're hopeful for next year.”
Wilson said if anyone is interested in providing the service next year they have to want to do it for two main reasons.
“They really want to make the community safer, the roads safer and get people home safely and that has to be the first and foremost reason,” he said. “The second reason is that they want to raise money for their own charity or another charity which needs to be a youth or sport charity, so it could be, for instance, a Rotary Club who wants to support a youth charity.
“I think one of the challenges we are seeing is the organizations that are doing it mainly for fundraising are finding it harder and harder to get volunteers.”
That was the case for Delta Gymnastics, which has seen a drop in volunteers and rides in recent years. Last year it provided 355 rides, down from more than 600 just four years earlier.