CORNWALL – A volunteer-run designated driver service, Operation Red Nose, won’t be back for the holiday season in Cornwall this year.
While the service returns to Kingston after a one year hiatus, the same can’t be said for the Seaway City.
The cost of insurance and lack of sponsorship are to blame.
The insurance, at $16,000 a year, had been covered provincially by provincial sponsors.
But that ended last year, forcing Cornwall’s program to close up shop before Christmas 2014. Operation Red Nose outlets now have to carry their own insurance.
“Insurance costs to run ORN locally would be equal to or over the amount of the funds we could raise. Therefore it would not be cost efficient to run the service as we would have to take 99-100% of the donations just to cover costs to run the service. If we don’t run at a loss,” said Ray Eady, president of the Kinsmen Club of Cornwall.
Eady said the Kinsmen Club of Cornwall would still be willing to help any service club or organization wanting to restart the program in Cornwall. He can be reached at 613-933-3512 extension 5011 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Eady estimated a $5,000 sponsorship would get the program covered insurance-wise next year. The cost to run the program is around $2,500.
With teams of volunteers, Operation Red Nose normally runs during the holiday party season until New Year’s Eve. Teams of volunteers – an escort drier, designated driver and navigator – get partiers and their vehicles home safely.
Prior to 2014, the Cornwall program had a successful three year run.
The program in Kingston will be back on the road Nov. 27.