Operation Red Nose (ORN) Steinbach/La Broquerie recently wrapped up their 2023 season. 

Jo Anne Dalton says they have had a pretty successful year, and the weather was very cooperative this time around. 

“We've had such great weather, the roads have been really nice. I think there was one day where it was a bit snowy on a Saturday night, and we definitely got less calls that night. But our volunteers all came out.” 

Dalton says it was an average year for ORN Steinbach/La Broquerie, and overall, the numbers were pretty consistent with last year. 

“Certain nights are always a little bit slower. The day before New Year's, for example, is pretty slow because everybody's getting ready to go out the next day,” she says. “And then New Year's kind of blows every other night out of the water.” 

Sometimes they receive calls from people requesting to be picked up by a specific team. 

“I think that it's really nice when you have people who call who are like, ‘Hey, are you working tonight? I want to put in a request for your team to come pick me up’ or they call and they know their friends are working.” 

Dalton shares a special experience she had using the service this year. 

“I used Operation Red Nose for the first time this year, and it was super neat. I had a friend with me from out of town, and she got in the car and she knew the drivers because she was from here, and it was just this happy little reunion.” 

They had 13 ride nights, which is two more than they had last year. 

“So overall a few more rides this year because we had those extra nights, but 210 rides and 413 people that got home with their free safe ride. We're really happy to hear all those people thought of us." 

ORN Steinbach/La Broquerie raised just under $5000 in ride donations this year. 

“And that doesn't even count the dozens of sponsors who contributed to our cause this year, who fed our volunteers, who brought us prizes, who donated to incentivize people to come out and help us.” 

Some sponsors brought out food for the volunteers, which Dalton says was a huge bonus. 

“We ate well, we had amazing food. All the food was fantastic and it's the same sponsors step up year over year to make sure that our volunteers are fed and that's really great. We have such a good restaurant community here." 

They also had gas gift cards donated so that they could reimburse their volunteers for fuel. 

Dalton says people are seeing the value of Operation Red Nose and want it to flourish. 

She’s very thankful to all the people who volunteered to make this possible. 

“We had a couple of nights where we were a little bit short on volunteers, and when we were talking about that at the volunteer night, the same volunteers would come back the same night, the next night,” she says. “They'd show up late after a family function to do the rush in the middle of the night, that 1am-2am when we have the most calls. Our volunteers are amazing and so committed, and we just want to say thank you to all of them.” 

She notes they had a couple of volunteers who did five whole nights.  

“And that's a lot when you're up until 3am.”

Dalton says she gets involved with Operation Red Nose because it directly benefits the youth in Steinbach and La Broquerie, including her kids. 

“It's going towards the school expansion and all the equipment that won't be covered by the capital costs of the expansion in La Broquerie, and so for me there's a direct benefit. But also what I do is support families and make sure families stay healthy, so safety is just such a big part of that.” 

She says it’s important to her that people have another way to get home safe.

“We're not always planning ahead, and so just to have that other option, especially around the holidays. Nobody wants to get that phone call in the middle of the night or that knock on the door that something terrible has happened.” 

Dalton is very thankful for all the work the ORN committee put in behind the scenes to make this possible. 

“The number of meetings, the months ahead that they're planning, the door knocking, the calls to sponsors, people stopping by to set the coffee up ahead of time, make sure the radios are charged. All those little things go so far. The committee is just an incredible group of people and I'm just very lucky to be considered one of them.” 


With files from Carly Koop