A program making sure everyone arrives home safely during the holiday season will be kicking off this November in Halton Hills.
This past March, local resident Tom Money decided to bring Operation Red Nose to Halton Hills, and to keep drunk drivers off the roads.
The idea came from a Quebec professor in 1984 and his concern about drinking and driving during the holiday season. So the professor, Jean-Marie De Koninck, decided to volunteer his time and drive people home from parties in their own vehicle. The program was a success, and has become recognized across Canada.
When called, Money and other volunteers will show up in groups of three and one of them will drive the caller home in the caller’s vehicle. Then, they will return in the vehicle that followed.
The service is free, but donations will be requested. All proceeds will go to Cancer Assistance Services Halton Hills (CAShh) and the Georgetown Hospital Foundation.
Currently, Money is on the lookout for any volunteers who would be interested in taking part. This Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Money will be in the Georgetown Market Place with information on the program.
“It’s going to be a real community effort to rid impaired drivers of our roads,” he said.
Money learned of this initiative just this year, when a police friend of his challenged him to look into it. Since then, he has been active in bringing it to the area, and has received support from the Halton Regional Police Service and the local fire hall.
The service will only be available every Friday and Saturday of the holiday season and will run from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. The dates are Nov. 24-25, Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, and New Year’s Eve. All callers must be picked up from and be delivered in Halton Hills.
All volunteers will have to apply through the organization’s website, and will be required to have a police background check.
Money is looking forward to keeping drunk drivers off the road, but stresses the project is not a taxi service: they are there to make sure residents arrive home safely.
Money and his team can be reached starting Nov. 24 on (905) 236-1505 or (905) 236-1515.