Operation Red Nose went off without a hitch in their 11th year in Fort Saskatchewan.
 
Run by the Fort Saskatchewan Rotary Club, the program has volunteers get people and their vehicles home safe throughout the holiday season.
 
"We ended up with 135 rides, which is more than we've ever done before," said Stew Hennig, co-chair of Operation Red Nose. "We're finally beginning to be recognized as a good thing to do on holiday weekends."
 
Over the 13 night program, 61 volunteers took 287 people home. 35 rides were on New Year's Eve alone.
 
"Many times this year we brought home kids, folks out at a family function with some friends and they had their kids with them. It was a great way to go out and have fun and show your children that you're responsible by taking a red nose ride home," said Hennig.
 
While the rides are free, many people leave tips and donations that go back into the community to support local youth groups.
 
The average donation was $30 per ride. In-kind donations totaled over $15,000.
 
"We had some super donations this year. Several gave us $100 for a ride, many gave $40 to $50, we did have the odd one that rode home for free but that's what it's all about, is to get people home safely," said Hennig.
 
Funding requests for local youth groups are being accepted and must be submitted by January 31.

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