VIDEO: Operation Red Nose B.C. kicks off season in Langley

Volunteer ride service welcomed back into community after two year absence

The provincial kick-off to Operation Red Nose (ORN) was held at the Langley Events Centre (LEC) Thursday morning, to officially mark the holiday season and that the volunteer ride service is readying for it’s 24th year in B.C.

Langley was chosen to host the launch because the community has been without ORN since 2016 when the local Gymnastics Foundation stopped hosting the program.

Langley Minor Hockey Association (LMHA) announced last month that they have taken over the reins of ORN for the 2019 holiday season.

Aaron Sproule, LMHA association president, welcomed back Rudy the ORN mascot back to Langley at a press conference held at LEC.

“The value that Operation Red Nose provides to community and road safety cannot be understated,” Sproule stated, thanking the city, township, and ICBC for helping facilitate the service.

A team of three volunteers will pick callers up and drive them in their own vehicle to the destination of their choice. One volunteer drives, a second navigates, and a third volunteer follows in an escort vehicle to pick up the volunteers – all done free of charge.

Any money donated by ORN users will go towards LHMA to help bring down fees for young hockey players.

Township Counc. Margaret Kunst and City mayor Val van den Broek were on hand to acknowledge the importance of having ORN in Langley.

“Thank you so much for bringing it back,” van den Broek said.

ORN has been in operation for 35 years – starting in Langley in 1999 when volunteer Garry Geisler ushered it into the community and served as its coordinator for more than a decade.

For his efforts, Geisler was awarded a special vest at the conference, and his named inducted into the ORN Hall of Fame – a national honour bestowed on only three other recipients in the organization’s existence.

Read More: Eagles swoop in to bring back Operation Red Nose

Now with ORN brought back to Surrey-Langley and the season officiated by the provincial office, the most important aspect Sproule and LHMA said, is to get volunteers.

The service runs every Friday and Saturday night from Nov. 29 to Dec. 29 from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Drivers, dispatch workers, and even cooperate sponsors are all required to make ORN run successfully.

There is plenty of time to sign up and get involved; more information can be found at www.langleyminorhockey.ca/operation-red-nose or on their Facebook page.

The local Red Nose number to call if a ride is needed is 604-539-9082.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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