It was a successful start for Operation Red Nose in both St. Malo and La Broquerie this past weekend.

Jo-Anne Dalton says it was quite a busy weekend of rides. "It was great. People have been making plans ahead of time and we've been ready. On Friday, we had 7 rides and on Saturday we had 16. We drove a total of 42 patrons home from their events, which is fantastic. We drove a total of 926 kilometers on the weekend and it took 28 volunteers to make it happen."

Dalton expects things to ramp up now through the month of December. "People are just kind of hearing about us, seeing the cards out at tables and they're just starting to think about using us during their holiday parties."

As for financial donations raised over the weekend, Dalton says "We raised $640 in donations, so it's a success. The donations are going to support the expansion project at the school in La Broqueire, Ecole St Joachim."

In St. Malo, things were a little bit slower but Charmaine Gosselin says it was still a fun weekend. "The first weekend is always a good one to get us going because it takes a lot of work to get it off the ground. We had 2 teams on Friday that gave 10 rides, so we're pumped about that. On Saturday, we had 3 teams that gave only 2 rides, so unfortunately they were a bit bored at headquarters. We're hoping things pick up, we're ready, we want to give rides. We for sure know it will pick up."

Donations made for Operation St. Malo will be going to a few different organizations, as Gosselin explains. "This year, the donations will be going to the non-profit of the volunteer's choice. So, when, you do a shift as a volunteer, you'll write down on your sheet which organization you want the money to go back to. At the end of the campaign, we'll divide the ride donations up according to which non-profits the volunteers choose."

Both Operation Red Nose St. Malo and Operation Red Nose La Broquerie are looking for volunteers for specific dates in December. Check out their respective websites for details.

For Operation Red Nose in St. Malo, call 204-347-5518 with phone lines opening up on Fridays and Saturdays at 9:00 pm.

For Operation Red Nose La Broquerie, call 204-424-9555 with phone lines opening up on Fridays and Saturdays at 9:00 pm.